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International Space Station
What's Outer Space like?
Life in Space
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What's Outer Space like?

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Weightlessness Vacuum Vision Thermal Environment Radiation
  01 The ever-flying ball
02 Two forces affecting the ISS
03 The reason why the inside of the ISS is weightless

03 The reason why the inside of the ISS is weightless

Freefall ride

There's a place here on earth, where we can experience what it's like inside the International Space Station (ISS).

The freefall ride at an amusement park.

While riding on the freefall, it feels as if weight has disappeared. That's where the secret to weightlessness on the ISS is hiding.

   

On the freefall, at an amusement park, since the chair, floor, and everything around you are all being affected by the pull of the force of gravity, everything falls together. Hence, you'll float up, and feel as though you are weightless. This is called the weightless condition.

This does not mean that the gravity disappears because we are falling, but we just don't feel the effect of gravity because we are not as affected by its pull.

Kumataro floating up on the freefall ride
Kumataro floating inside of a box.
   
Astronaut Mukai and Kumataro

Inside the ISS, because people, objects, and everything are moving in the same direction and at the same speed, it's as if the earth's gravity is not at work. That's why the astronauts and other things are able to float about.

This weightless environment is one of the biggest differences between the Earth and the ISS.

   
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