28 September 2016
A science experiment designed by four Singaporean high school students was recently conducted aboard the International Space Station.
The experiment, conducted by Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi, tested the impact of a microgravity environment on the flight of paper planes.The hypothesis by the students was that the way paper planes would fly in a microgravity environment would – like on earth – change depending on the angle of their ailerons, or the outer wing flaps that control the plane’s roll. One difference is that in space, the paper planes will not stop until they hit an obstacle.
The four Singaporean students who were the architect of the experiment, Wang Hao Ming, Justin Chua, Ethan Tan and Caleb Goh, witnessed the experiment beamed live to them during a trip to the Tsukuba Space Centre, about 70km north-east of Tokyo.
This was part of the Try Zero-G for Asia programme, where students and youths from the Asia-Pacific are invited to submit proposals, some of which will be conducted by a Japanese astronaut on the International Space Station, where Japan has a space experiment module called Kibo, or “hope” in Japanese.