Kennedy Space Center, Part 1 | Project Discovery - Episode 1


Jim Gerard, an aerospace education specialists at Kennedy Space Center, discusses the astronauts becoming weightless and demonstrates a ball that, when dropped, alarms as it falls and is momentarily weightless.

He is asked what keeps the shuttle from burning upon re-entry.  He explains that the shuttle is coated with over 20,000 tiles that are coated with a black surface that radiates the heat away from the shuttle. He demonstrates, using a blow torch to heat up a tile made from this material, and shows tat the tile heats up, but doesn't allow the heat to come through the tiles and burn his fingers. These tiles are made of sand that has been melted and foamed up, and the air bubbles act as insulation, and help the tiles to cool down very quickly. 

He and Doug Keel then demonstrate sitting on a pair of chairs that rotate on an axle. The axle allows them to rotate freely, but they can't turn. They generate the ability to turn by throwing bags of rocks down, both in the same direction. They do this in the same direction twice, and they turn a small amount each time they do. Then they throw them in the opposite direction, but only once. So they didn't have an equal amount of force in the other direction. This demonstrates that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, and also that an object in motion will stay in motion until acted upon by an outside force.

For the next segment, they are joined by the manager of marketing at Spaceport USA and an astronaut dressed in a space suit.  

Spaceport USA is now known as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.