Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Boomerang in space idea: Return to sender

by Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca

Astronauts will be carrying important equipment to the International Space Station aboard the space shuttle Endeavour when it launches some time in March, including the first component of the $3-billion Kibo science module and the Canadian-built Dextre remote manipulator, the last piece of the Canadarm 2 and likely Canada's last major contribution to the space station.

And oh yes, they'll be bringing a boomerang.

Japanese officials said astronaut Takao Doi will be travelling aboard the shuttle with a boomerang to see if a paper version of the traditionally wooden tool will return to its sender in zero gravity conditions, according to AFP.

"Mr. Doi said he will personally carry a paper boomerang for the upcoming mission and we presume he will try it when he has spare time," said an official of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

It seems to us the test might prove difficult because of the cramped conditions on the station: last time we checked, the recently installed Harmony module has less than 35 cubic metres of living space, and other parts of the station are similarly cramped.

It's not the first highly identifiable object to be launched from, or inside, the station.

In December 2006, Swedish astronaut Christer Fuglesang, a former national Frisbee champion, brought a Frisbee up to space to see how long he could keep it spinning in the station's air: 20 seconds, according to one report.

And in 2005 Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev shanked a golf ball off the ISS as part of a promotion with Toronto-based Element 21 Golf Company.

We understand these stunts are sometimes done to attract attention - or in the case of the golf ball, to attract money - to a project that often leaves the public cold. But surely there are better things to do in space than attempt to ping-pong a boomerang through the narrow passages of the space station?

Doi reportedly decided to conduct the boomerang test after he received a request from a Japanese world boomerang champion. Perhaps what NASA, ESA and Japan's space agency should do is give the public some say in the zero-gravity passtimes astronauts should pursue; create a contest like What do You Want to See Done in Space? It could be like the old David Letterman episodes, where the late night talk show asked the audience what it wanted to drop from a six-story building.

Would this be science? Likely not. But at least it would be honest in its purpose.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

Anjohl

NFLD

I think this is a vallid experiment, anyone in aerodynamics will be interested in how well this works.

Posted January 28, 2008 10:50 AM

Jason

Next on the list; Bringing a frisbee to space so the astronauts can have the longest frisbee game of their lives. what will they think of next?

Posted January 28, 2008 01:35 PM

Mark Elgar

Wow!! Is there no end to the fabulous benefits Humankind reaps by investing trillions in space "exploration"???

First Tang, then Velcro, now Better Boomerangs!!! Hard to imagine life without them.

What's next? Can't wait!

Posted January 31, 2008 01:35 PM

George Harley

Australia

As George de Mestral discovered the concept of "velcro" ( from VELour and CROchet)in 1948 and patented it in 1955, I fail to see how the space program can get the blame/credit for its discovery .

Posted March 21, 2008 01:31 AM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Updated Trump defends 'history and culture' of Confederate monuments
Donald Trump defended the "history and culture" represented by statues of Confederate leaders early Thursday, even as the descendants of one southern general called for the removal of a memorial to their great-great-grandfather.
Steve Bannon talks 'economic war' with China, calls white nationalists 'losers'
U.S President Donald Trump's chief strategist called a left-leaning writer seemingly out of the blue. He's since claimed he did not think it was an interview.
Live Van driven into people in busy Barcelona area video
A van has crashed into dozens of people in Barcelona's city centre, local police say.
more »

Canada »

New Andrew Scheer won't grant interviews to The Rebel under current 'editorial direction' video
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said at an event in B.C. on Wednesday night that he won't grant interviews to Rebel Media if the outlet's editorial direction remains "as it is."
CBC Investigates 'A broken system': Why workers are fighting mandatory mail-order drug plans
Denying workers a choice in where they can buy their prescription drugs can save companies money, but many workers say the choice is simply too important.
Where does the CIBC-PC Financial breakup leave consumers? video
CIBC and PC Financial are breaking up a 20-year banking marriage and divvying up the assets — news one financial expert says isn't necessarily a good or bad thing for consumers.
more »

Politics »

New Andrew Scheer won't grant interviews to The Rebel under current 'editorial direction' video
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said at an event in B.C. on Wednesday night that he won't grant interviews to Rebel Media if the outlet's editorial direction remains "as it is."
Live RCMP says it has intercepted 3,800 asylum seekers crossing illegally into Quebec since Aug. 1 video
The RCMP is holding a briefing at the moment with the Canada Border Services Agency and the federal Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
Analysis U.S. opens NAFTA talks with focus on trade balance — and a deficit of facts video
If it wasn't clear before yesterday's kickoff to NAFTA renegotiations, U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer wasted little time in setting things straight: his job is to get a deal that delivers on Donald Trump's promises to U.S. workers. And he won't let the facts get in his way.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Would you strap on a VR headset for hours? Creators are betting on it
Content creators have gotten a lot more skilled with virtual reality technology and storytelling, allowing for much longer VR experiences, including Miyubi, the "world's first long-form scripted VR comedy."
Uncharted territory: Does a new lead character help or harm a beloved video game series?
When video games retool longtime franchises, the results can be complicated, writes Jonathan Ore.
Katy Perry delays tour kickoff citing 'production delays'
Katy Perry says she's pushing back the start of her new tour because of "unavoidable production delays."
more »

Technology & Science »

Here's when to start watching the solar eclipse
The countdown is on: it's less than a week to the solar eclipse and you likely want to know when to look up. Here are some times for cities across Canada.
'Frankenstein' dinosaur is missing evolutionary link, researchers say
A missing link between plant-eating dinosaurs and meat-eaters such as the Tyrannosaurus rex may have been found, suggests a new study from the University of Cambridge and the Natural History Museum.
Total solar eclipse 2017: Read CBC's complete coverage
Read CBC's complete coverage of the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 for the science behind the rare event and tips on how to watch.
more »

Money »

Where does the CIBC-PC Financial breakup leave consumers? video
CIBC and PC Financial are breaking up a 20-year banking marriage and divvying up the assets — news one financial expert says isn't necessarily a good or bad thing for consumers.
CBC Investigates 'A broken system': Why workers are fighting mandatory mail-order drug plans
Denying workers a choice in where they can buy their prescription drugs can save companies money, but many workers say the choice is simply too important.
Trump's business, manufacturing councils disband video
U.S. President Donald Trump announced he is disbanding two advisory panels full of business executives after a number of high-profile CEOs either quit the panels or criticized his response to last weekend's tragic events in Charlottesville, Va.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Preview Meet the Canadians leading the Summer Universiade medal charge video
Held every two years, the Summer Universiade is the world's largest multi-sport event outside of the Olympic Games. Here are the athletes to watch this year in Taipei City.
Recap Canada out of medal contention after loss at women's rugby World Cup
Canada will not have a chance at a medal at the women's rugby World Cup after losing 48-5 to New Zealand today.
Mandy Bujold: A special man made the struggle worthwhile
The late Adrian Teodorescu was more than just a boxing coach to Canadian Olympian Mandy Bujold. The two not only formed a winning combination, but developed a unique bond outside the ring.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »