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NASA Space Science

The Physics of Zero-G Whipped Cream 80

SpaceAdmiral writes "An experiment on the Space Shuttle Columbia has been analyzing your ice cream sundae. Or, rather, it looked at the phenomenon of 'shear thinning,' which explains why whipped cream comes out of the can like a liquid, but sits atop your sundae like a solid. The experiment actually involved shear thinning of xenon, a substance used in ion rocket engines, but whipped cream tastes better." I'm not sure it was cost effective to fly Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass into low earth orbit either, but hey, it's NASA — who am I to judge?
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The Physics of Zero-G Whipped Cream

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  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Saturday April 26, 2008 @09:43AM (#23206926) Homepage Journal

    Real Ice Cream (not ice milk, or ice-milk-and-cream) has almost no lactose in it. Practically no one makes the stuff, of course. Buy an ice cream maker, and make your own. you won't save any money but the stuff will be dramatically better. It's also low-carb if you use a substitute for sugar (I like Splenda/Sucralose.)

    I know you were just trying to be funny. Try harder next time :)

  • Re:Troll (Score:4, Informative)

    by Feanturi ( 99866 ) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @12:43PM (#23207646)
    By measuring how strongly the fluid resisted the movement of this paddle, the experiment could determine the xenon's thickness. CVX-2 searched for changes in this thickness as it slowly changed the speed of the stirring and the temperature of the fluid.

    My guess is that they needed to keep constant freefall for more than just a minute or so at a time.
  • Re:You know... (Score:3, Informative)

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @01:55PM (#23208008) Homepage
    Well, that's exactly what happened in the 60s. They had this big space race with Russia, and had to prove they were better than the "commies". This means they got well funded, and the people working for NASA had a lot of motivation to do a good job. Currently there is no real incentive for NASA to show anyone else up. In 1961, just a few months after the first human was put in space (by the commies) Kennedy said they would have a man on the moon, and return him safely by the end of the decade. And they did it. Now they are talking about maybe sending someone to the moon again in 2018. Which is further off than Kennedy's original timeline, and probably less believable. It almost seems as though spaceflight has taken a step back since the 60s. If 1/2 the budget of the Iraq war was spent on space, we'd be on Mars by now.

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky