What it’s like to paint in space—according to a NASA astronaut

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Offline nafees_research

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What it’s like to paint in space—according to a NASA astronaut

For many decades, a medical myth persisted that people were either “right brained” or “left brained.” The theory went that we are naturally predisposed to either being more creative (right-hemisphere dominant) or more mathematical (left-hemisphere dominant). But that phenomenon has now been thoroughly debunked, and its stereotypes along with it.

I and so many of my NASA colleagues are examples of how there is no reason to believe that scientists can’t be artists—or vice versa. Photography and music have always been a part of human spaceflight, and in early missions, cosmonaut Alexey Leonov did colored pencil sketches of orbital sunrise and charcoal portraits of his Apollo-Soyuz crew mates. As we’ve spent more time as humans not just working but living in space, the number of astronauts creating something artistic during their missions has continued to grow. Just recently, my friend Cady brought her flute and played it in space, and my friend Don created some really beautiful star trail photos using time-lapse photography.

My first spaceflight was in late 2009. I traveled to the International Space Station (ISS) on the Space Shuttle Discovery, and spent a little over three months living and working on the ISS. Every day in space was surprising—a different mix of science and maintenance and outreach activities. Some of the more exciting days might have included a spacewalk or flying the robotic arm to grab a cargo vehicle as it approached; other days included everything from fixing the toilet to testing our water to harvesting plants and mixing fuels in the combustion chamber.



As everything outside was moving too fast to paint, I printed a picture (yes, we have printers on board the ISS) of one of the most beautiful sights I’d ever seen: this little tiny chain of islands on the northern coast of Venezuela called Los Roques. I remember seeing them through the window of the space station, taking a photo, and thinking that someone had already taken a brush and painted the shape of a wave on the ocean. It was just gorgeous.

Every night just before going to bed, I would paint a little bit of those islands. I took up a watercolor paint set because I needed my paint to be non-toxic and in a solid form. But unlike normal watercolors, you can’t dip your brush in a cup of water—because there are no cups of water! The water would just float right out of the cup. Instead, you have drink bags—which are like big CapriSun bags—with a straw on the top.

Without a cup of water for my watercolors, painting was therefore a real process. To start, I would squirt out a tiny little ball of water from the drink bag and watch it float in front of me in zero gravity. Then I would put the brush toward it to touch it. What was extra cool was that even before I got the brush to the water, right before it made contact, the bubble of water seemed to move over to the brush, like it was attracted to the bristles in some way. I’m still not really sure what caused this—maybe something to do with surface tension or some weak static charge on the water or brush—but this vacuum effect was really interesting to watch.

Source: https://qz.com/1578231/what-its-like-to-paint-in-space-according-to-a-nasa-astronaut/
« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 12:51:47 PM by nafees_research »
Nafees Imtiaz Islam
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IQAC, Daffodil International University and
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University of Dhaka
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Offline sazirul

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Re: What it’s like to paint in space—according to a NASA astronaut
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2019, 01:14:23 PM »
It was a nice painting! Thanks for sharing Sir. Please remove 3rd or 4th paragraph, it placed two times. Thanks!

Offline nafees_research

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Re: What it’s like to paint in space—according to a NASA astronaut
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2019, 12:52:35 PM »
Thank you for noticing the duplication of a 'para' and for reading out the article.
Nafees Imtiaz Islam
Deputy Director
IQAC, Daffodil International University and
Ph.D. Candidate in International Trade
University of Dhaka
Tel.:  65324 (DSC-IP)
e-mail address:
nafees-research@daffodilvarsity.edu.bd  and
iqac-office@daffodilvarsity.edu.bd

Offline Rubaiya Hafiz

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Re: What it’s like to paint in space—according to a NASA astronaut
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2019, 12:55:43 PM »
wow...its nice...thank you for sharing.