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Space is about to get slimed, and no, it’s not aliens. If you grew up watching Double Dare or Slime Time Live or any other shows on Nickelodeon where buckets of the radioactive-looking green ooze were dumped on unsuspecting humans, then you shouldn’t be too surprised that the channel boldly went where no slime had gone before. Nick launched six liters of it to the ISS on a SpaceX Dragon yesterday. For science. Really.
But what kind of science are astronauts going to actually do with this stuff? Slime has more properties to investigate besides being a cleanup nightmare (at least on Earth, where gravity lets it stick to everything).
Sliming everyone would create an epic mess on the floating space station, so an anti-gravity Slime Time won’t be happening. What will be happening are things like slime pong, a slime-filled balloon toss, slime bubbles, and slime spray. Astronauts really are going to take a ball of slime and swat it back and forth with hydrophobic paddles in the weirdest game of ping-pong ever. The ISS might end up looking neon green for a while after the slime-fest.
The bags even have an official ISS label that says “Slime Bag,” so you know this is serious. Slime pong and bubbles and everything else are part of a NASA study titled Non-Newtonian Fluids in Microgravity (its other official title is Nickelodeon Slime in Space). Slime is a non-Newtonian fluid because its viscosity, or resistance to flow, changes as you do things like squish and stretch it. The space agency is using it to show how humans and liquids — uh, sorta-liquids — interact in microgravity.
This is supposed to “educate students on the basic principles of fluid flow in microgravity versus normal gravity on Earth,” the channel said in a press release. NASA added that it’s a learning experience about “the behavior of slime in microgravity by focusing on its rebounding and wetting behavior at various impact speeds.”
Anyone who is dying to watch how the sliming goes down can tune in to Nickelodeon’s online, TV, and streaming platforms.
Where was this when we were kids?