If you enjoyed Rhett Allain's post last Friday as much as we did (see "Using astronaut Mike Fossum’s YouTube video to measure ATV acceleration"), then – like the rest of us here at the ATV blog – you're probably a bit of a space physics gearhead!
Therefore, you might enjoy reading (and answering!) a series of 'Reboost Homework' challenge questions that Rhett's posted over at Wired's dotphysics blog.
My favourite challenge question?
Assume the ISS has an acceleration of 0.03 m/s2 (this is the acceleration just due to the ATV reboost, not the gravitational acceleration). If an astronaut started in the Destiny module and let go, how long would it take to “fall” [as the astros are seen doing in the YT video] all the way to the back. You might want to look up this distance, but I think it is around 50 meters.
Interested? We'd like to invite all our ATV blog readers to answer any one (or all!) of Dr Allain's 'ATV Homework Questions'. Send us your answers, and we'll publish the best (or, at least, correct) ones as assessed by the ATV Operations team. The answer judged most imaginative will win a super ATV prize from our mission goody closet. Submit your own work only, please. All judging final. No cash value. One submission per entrant. Due date Friday, 3 May, 12:00 CEST.
Astronaut selection requires three fundamental tenets: health, brains, and experience. You have to be able to pass the toughest medical in the world, so stay in shape and eat right. You have to demonstrate the ability to learn complex things, so an advanced technical degree is needed. And you have to demonstrate good decision-making when the consequences really matter.