Europe’s Columbus laboratory is a hive of activity in this 360° timelapse as ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer works on an experiment called Fluidics and his NASA colleague Raja Chari carries out activity in the Veggie plant habitat.

Developed by French space agency CNES and co-funded by Airbus, the Fluidics experiment investigates how liquids behave in space. It was first run by ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet in 2017 during his Proxima mission.

Made up of six small, transparent spheres housed in the black centrifuge seen here, the experiment studies two phenomena. The first is ‘sloshing’ or how liquids move in enclosed spaces. The second is wave turbulence.

Understanding the underlying physics of how liquids move in space will help improve the fuel economy of spacecraft and our knowledge of Earth’s oceans. By observing how surface forces behave in reduced gravity and singling out interactions, scientists aim to improve climate models for forecasting sea states and better understand wave formation on Earth.

Fluidics is just one of many European and international science experiments Matthias is supporting throughout his six-month Cosmic Kiss mission. Visit the Cosmic Kiss mission page on the ESA portal to find out more about his activities in orbit.

Access the other Cosmic Kiss 360º videos.

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