This Week’s #AskLuca: Slinkys and Albert Einstein in Space?


Let’s face it the idea of a Slinky in space is pretty cool…and fortunately Alice submitted a great #AskLuca question about what would happen with a Slinky without gravity…Also as Luca and the other astronauts are busy unloading the ATV-4 named Albert Einstein that just docked with the space station last week we have a great question about the unloading. But first a little about the #AskLuca series and my role as Earth Liaison with Luca while he is living in space.

What is #AskLuca and how can you get involved?

As part of my #SoyuzAdventure outreach I am serving as the Earth Liaison for my mentor Astronaut Luca 

Parmitano who is currently part of the crew of Expedition 36 on the International Space Station. As Luca’s Earth Liason I will be chatting with Luca on his social channels and following his adventures as he shares them online as well as following the NASA and ESA updates about Luca’s mission. As part of my role I will be blogging weekly about Luca’s mission as well writing this weekly #AskLuca column.

If you have questions for Luca that you would like answered you can submit them here. I will pick several questions to ask Luca each week on either Twitter or Google+ and when I get his answers I will post them here on my blog. You can follow the hashtag #AskLuca on either Google+ or Twitter to follow our conversations. This is already turning into a great adventure! Stay Tuned!

#AskLuca Questions for this Week


Screen shot 2013-06-19 at 1.07.57 PMQuestion 1: Slinkys in Space!!!

 -asked by Alice, @penguingalaxy

Question: What happens if you take a slinkie onto the ISS – a child’s toy that is a colourful plastic spring? In gravity, it stretches and can “walk” downstairs, and has also been shown to do some interesting things if dropped. I wonder how it would behave in zero gravity?

Luca’s Answer: I don’t know as yet the answer to your questions, but you’re in luck: there’s a slinkie coming on board on ATV4, and I will do some experiments with it, that will be posted on YouTube. Just stay tuned, and all your questions will be answered!

Screen shot 2013-06-19 at 1.06.54 PMQuestion 2: Albert Einstein Arrives at the Space Station

-asked by Sally, @Supaiman

Question: How long will it take you to unload and stow the cargo from Einstein? Does it contain any fresh food? Will you have help?

Luca’s Answer: The Ground teams expects for us to work about 80hrs to complete the transfer. As far as I know, there is no fresh food on board… and yes, the whole crew helps at different times!

Open ATV hatch.

ATV mock-up at EAC Cologne credit: ESA. Photo Credit: ESA/NASA

Here is a video of the first entrance into the ATV-4 Albert Einsten…kind of cool to watch!

Slinky photo credit


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