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Playing Ping Pong In Microgravity

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 Physics   |   Science
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Dr Kevin Fong takes a trip on a parabolic flight (the ‘vomit comet’) to see what it’s like to play table tennis in space.
Watch the full second episode of the 2015 CHRISTMAS LECTURES on ‘How to survive in space’ on the Ri Channel now:
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Without gravity to pull the ball back down to the table, what happens when you play ping pong? Turns out, you get a sort of real-world ‘pong’, where the ball travels in nearly perfect straight lines.
In the second his CHRISTMAS LECTURES, space doctor, Kevin Fong explores 'Life in orbit' on board the International Space Station. As British astronaut Tim Peake settles in to his new home on the Station he sends special reports about what it takes to live and work in space.

400 km above the Earth, hurtling at a speed of 17,500 mph, astronauts' bones and muscles waste away, the oxygen they breathe is artificially made, they face constant threats from micrometeorites, radiation and extreme temperatures. If a medical emergency strikes, Tim Peake is a very long way from home!

In its 15 year lifetime, the International Space Station has never had a major accident. With a British astronaut in orbit, gravity defying experiments and guest astronauts in the lecture theatre Dr Kevin Fong shows us how to survive 'Life in orbit.'

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