The microgravity experiment proposed by University of the Philippines Los Baños student William Kevin Abran was successfully performed by an astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS).
In a statement released by the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) on Friday, Jan. 20, Astronaut Koichi Wakata conducted Abran's experiment called "Rotation of 'Dumbbell-shaped' Objects in Space" inside the Japanese Experimental Module, "Kibo", and has shown the behavior of rotating dumbbell-shaped objects in outer space.
"The Dzhanibekov effect, or the dancing screw motion, was not that evident during the experiment. However, it cannot be ruled out at the moment," PhilSA said.
This test, PhilSA noted, will help in the "designs of spacecraft and offer a real-life example affirming the validity of Newton’s Laws of Motion and Ehrenfest Theorem in microgravity."
The experiment was witnessed by Abran via live streaming from the ISS.
"I’m very honored to have my experiment conducted by Astronaut Koichi. The result was satisfying knowing that the dumbbell shapes behaved as predicted.
"Also, watching the experiments proposed by students from other countries gave me a new perspective about the microgravity environment. Hopefully, this initiative inspires more students to continue doing research and be curious about the world around us," he said.
Abran's experiment was one of the six entries chosen to be performed on the Kibo for the Asian Try Zero-G (ATZG) 2022.
The ATZG competition, organized by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), received more than 200 submissions from Asia-Pacific region counties, and 24 finalists were selected.
From that, JAXA had chosen only six entries to be conducted on space and one of those was Abran's.