This Is A GoPro, In An Orb Of Water, In Space

by Chris Tognotti

Ever wonder what it looks like to see water floating in outer space? Ever wonder what it looks like to see it... from the inside? Well, luckily for you, the International Space Station is full of fun people who occasionally have some free time on their hands, and at some point during the summer they decided to treat us all to a zero-gravity delight — astronauts submerged a GoPro in an orb of water, showing the world precisely what it would look like to be trapped inside a weightless sphere of fluid. If that sounds like the sort of thing you never wondered about in the first place, well, maybe the awesome footage will help you change your tune.

According to the video's description, posted by the NASA Marshall Center, the footage was captured by three men, Steve Swanson, Reid Wiseman, and Alexander Gerst. And I can't personally thank them enough, because only by their great idea am I able to show such a beautiful, fascinating image — thanks to the gravity-free environment on the ISS, they were able to inflate a ball of water, slide the camera inside, and get filming. The whole thing is, in a word, picturesque.

With the camera within just as weightless and drifting as the water around it, it's movement sometimes pushed through the surface tension of the ball, the very only thing holding it all together — causing the camera to briefly erupt from its cocoon before one of the three men carefully molded it all back together. I don't know, and probably won't ever know what it feels like to shape a ball of water with my hands like that, freely floating through the air, but it seems like a safe guess that it's a blast.

Of course, the real question is what it all looks like from the inside out. And the answer is, well... watery. Just what you expected, right? Still, even if you've done some swimming in your day and looked up out of the water's surface, this is a unique angle on things — the curved edges of the water, and the trembling, drifting ripples make it about as unique a view as you're going to find.

Isn't it great? I grant you, maybe I'm more of a sucker for zero-gravity photography than most people, but this is definitely worth the 2:21 it takes to watch — again, all due credit to these cunning space-farers with a little time on their hands. Not everyone may be able to visit space themselves, but at least we can get a little glimpse now and then.

Images: NASA's Marshall Center/YouTube (4)