Why SpaceX Is Launching Slime Into Space

To aid them with their research and experiments, astronauts, who are essentially scientists alike, bring many intricate instruments onboard the International Space Station up in outer space, where they live for the duration of their entire mission.

And because of the countless experiments you need to do up there, so do the numbers of instruments vary. This ranges from simple laboratory tools, to remote-controlled rovers that collect samples and data, to slime?

You read that right. Slime. That gooey green playtoy your younger sibling throws all over the room and manages to stick everywhere.

Slime for space scientists

Per a new release, an upcoming supply mission for astronauts in the ISS will reportedly be partnering with Nickelodeon to carry a package of slime (the same sticky green substance made popular by the childen’s television network) to the space laboratory. According to the release, the partnership has two main reasons: to provide ISS astronauts with some fun during their downtime and to get kids to be interested in outer space, as well as science in general.

Made in the name of STEM education, Nick even said that it plans on “sliming a couple of astronauts,” and even promised footage of the green substance floating in zero gravity, as well as some footage captured by the astronauts aboard ISS themselves. Furthermore, sending the slime up aboard the ISS will also give NASA the opportunity to observe how the substance will react to zero gravity. Previously, NASA was able to demonstrate various types of liquid like water in space.

And if the astronauts ever tire of the plaything, not to worry, since it’s not the only “toy” that’s headed to the orbiting laboratory via SpaceX’s Dragon resupply mission. According to the release, the next one will be bringing an Adidas soccer ball as well.

This ball will then be used by the crew to get a better understanding of how free-falling objects would move in an environment without any gravity whatsoever. The knowledge gained from this may be used for future experiments aboard the ISS.

slime-4319138_960_720 Slime is a popular children's toy. Photo by Pixabay (CC0)