Watch: NASA astronauts build gorgeous zero-gravity fires for science

September 11, 2019

By Tristan Greene

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are tasked with conducting hundreds of experiments, but perhaps none are as pretty as recent efforts to shape fire in zero gravity conditions. The big idea behind the beautiful balls of fire is figure out how to make terrestrial flames more efficient. According to NASA, the experiment has incredible implications for our theoretical understanding of flames and how gravity effects the temperature and efficiency of a fire. While there aren’t currently any direct extra-terrestrial use-cases for lighting fires in space – aside from the fact that they’re gorgeous – it’s clear that humanity…

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