This is so cool that I can’t believe it’s a NASA site. The page’s headline gets straight to the point: Did you ever wonder what it would be like to pop a water balloon in space?
Well, of course.
They’ve got footage of utterly captivating water-balloon-popping experiments in the Vomit Comet. Dye and soda straws come into it too. They even make it sound legitimately scientific:
The tests were conducted in part to develop the ability to rapidly deploy large liquid drops by rupturing an enclosing membrane. As can be seen from the experiment footage, the initial rupture process is nearly ideal, but the finite size of the balloon material eventually ejects a spray from the drop surface. Then, when the balloon material leaves the drop entirely, it causes a large deformation of the drop (blob) which oscillates throughout the remainder of the test. Calculations suggest that such oscillations will continue for hours before the drop eventually becomes spherical.Uh-huh, yeah. Do the one again with the raspberry-colored blob. (Thanks once more to Erik Olson.)