NW Cable Network: PSU launches experiments into space
Author: Keely Chalmers
Posted: October 8, 2012

See the original story on NW Cable Network here.

PORTLAND - Portland State University will make history this weekend as it launches research experiments into space.

The experiments will actually be done by astronauts aboard the International Space Station, and researchers at PSU will be able to watch every one of those experiments live from a ground station right on campus.

The PSU researchers will be able to talk directly to the astronauts and instruct them how to perform each experiment.

“I get to see my experiments and vision acted out live in space and feel like your along side them,” said William Blackmore, a graduate research assistant at PSU's college of engineering.

The astronauts will be testing the behavior of liquids in zero gravity.

The results they find could change the way fuel systems are designed for future spacecraft.

“Like you see with a straw on earth ... liquid will move up it a little bit but it stops because of gravity… well in orbit gravity doesn't stop it ... or won't for a very long time ... so we can utilize that effect to make fluids move on their own,” explained Blackmore.

The experiments and supplies will launch into space this Sunday aboard the SpaceX rocket.

It will be the first commercial rocket ever to dock at the International Space Station. 

Researchers at Portland State say they are thrilled and proud to be part of this historic event.

“Definitely ... to have the opportunity at PSU to give our own little piece to that history is quite nice,” said Blackmore.