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Asian Try Zero-G 2022 Experimental Theme Finalized

  • Experiment at Kibo
  • Kibo Utilization Office for Asia (KUOA)


The theme for the Asian Try Zero-G 2022, a simple space experiment for young people, has been called for in eight Kibo-ABC* member countries/region**. Japan has also made its first public call for proposals. Astronaut Koichi Wakata who will stay in the International Space Station (ISS)/Kibo from the fall 2022 plans to conduct the experiments.
As a result, a total of 480 applicants (students and young engineers/researchers) with 201 applications participated in this program. Following a preliminary selection by each participating country/region, the six experimental themes were selected through a final selection process by all participating countries/region. (Details below in the Final Selection section)

Selection Results (Alphabetical order)

Japan Self-assembly of granular gas and three-dimensional pattern formation in a microgravity environment
The Philippines Rotation of ‘Dumbbell-shaped’ objects in Space
Singapore Double Pendulum in space
Taiwan The Water Vortex in Zero Gravity Condition
Thailand Water sphere disturbance in zero gravity
Thailand Study of the height of water which is risen up in microgravity
*Kibo-ABC (Asian Beneficial Collaboration through "Kibo" Utilization) is an initiative established by the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF), aiming to promote the utilization of the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” on the International Space Station in the Asia-Pacific region and to share and build on the outcomes of Kibo utilization. The Kibo-ABC members are composed of 19 organizations from 14 countries/region.
** Participating countries/region by alphabetical order: Australia, Bangladesh, Japan, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand

Preliminary Selection

The selection process was conducted in two stages: Preliminary Selection and Final Selection. In the first stage, Preliminary Selection, each participating country/region used a standard evaluation sheet to conduct the initial selection from the perspectives of scientific significance/novelty, safety, resource requirement, and feasibility. As a result, 24 themes were selected from 5 countries/region.

Case of Preliminary Selection in Thailand

Thailand received the most significant number of applications this year. The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) administered the Asian Try Zero-G 2022 program in Thailand. The applications were reviewed by a committee including the NSTDA Deputy Director-General, the NSTDA Space Education Program Manager, and experts from The National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC) and The National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC).
Preliminary screening in Thailand (©NSTDA)

Final Selection

Prior to the final selection, researchers and experts of onboard scientific experiments in the Kibo module gave opinions on the themes. Also, JAXA specialists with extensive knowledge of the Kibo's facility and astronauts Yui and Kanai, who had conducted the experiments onboard the Kibo, advised on the experiment themes on technical feasibility and other aspects from their experiences.
The final selection meeting was held in the presence of the participating organizations. The representative of each country/region presents their selected themes from their Preliminary for the final selection using a standard evaluation sheet.
All participants in the final selection concluded by selecting 6 experiment themes***.
Astronaut Wakata will conduct the selected experiment themes this upcoming winter.
Technical discussion with JAXA astronauts Kimiya Yui and Norishige Kanai (Astronaut Kanai participated remotely.)
***The six selected experiments are listed below, along with the selection factors.

Asian Try Zero-G 2022 Selected Themes

Category1: Individual or group applicants, 18 years old and younger
Category2: Individual or group applicants, 27 years old and younger

Self-assembly of granular gas and three-dimensional pattern formation in a microgravity environment

Japan (Category 2) University of Tsukuba/ The University of Tokyo/ Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University, Group of 3

When the granular gas is left unattended, it loses energy due to collisions between particles, and the particles gradually aggregate to form clusters. The experiment reproduces this with BB bullets and small resin beads.

<Points of Selection>
This theme is an excellent proposal that is expected to produce scientific results. It is a simple but thorough scientific verification plan to be conducted in orbit.

Rotation of ‘Dumbbell-shaped’ objects in Space

Philippines (Category 2) University of the Philippines

The " dumbbell-shaped" rotating body can rotate along a horizontal axis around a vertical axis, and has only two main moments of inertia, so rotation along the main axis is stable and the Dzhanibekov effect* is not expected to occur. We will verify this using two rigid bodies whose centers of gravity are known to be different. ( Previously, a video of this effect has been reproduced using pliers, but this is the first comparative verification.)
Dzhanibekov effect: A phenomenon in which the direction of rotation reverses 180 degrees when the axis of rotation is kept constant for a while, and then rotates 180 degrees back to the original direction again after another while.

<Points of Selection>
This theme aims to systematically examine the behavior of rotating objects in orbit and the Dzhanibekov effect by means of two rigid bodies with different centers of gravity.

Double Pendulum in space

Singapore (Category 1) Catholic High School, Group of 4

The double pendulum is known to exhibit unpredictable motion on earth due to its increased degrees of freedom and is a classic case of chaos. In a microgravity environment, we will observe how the double pendulum exhibits more disordered behavior when a force is applied to specific positions of the double pendulum (at the joints, at the middle of the second section, and at the end points).

<Points of Selection>
This theme is a proposal that has never been implemented in Asian Try Zero-G before. It is expected to observe unpredictable states in a microgravity environment, in contrast to operations on the ground.

The Water Vortex in Zero Gravity Condition

Taiwan (Category 2) National Central University

On the ground, when water in a bottle is rotated, a water vortex occurs; verify whether a water vortex occurs in a microgravity environment where there is no downward force and how the water in the rotating body behaves.
Predict that if a cylindrical bottle is rotated in a microgravity environment with its longitudinal axis, only centrifugal force will be present after the rotation, and the water will stick to the sides of the bottle, resulting in a hollow state. Predict that if the cylindrical shape is rotated on a different axis, the water will collect in the center of the bottle. Also, observe the movement after the rotation stops.

A similar proposal has been received from Singapore. Under the leadership of the Taiwanese team, it is planned to share information on the results of the experiment with Singapore.

<Points of Selection>
This theme is a proposal to observe water vortices in two different rotations using a cylindrical bottle. It is a proposal that effectively use a single bottle in an orbit where resources are limited.

Water sphere disturbance in zero gravity

Thailand (Category 1) Mahidol Wittayanusorn School

The water sphere in a microgravity environment becomes perfectly spherical as the effect of surface tension becomes more pronounced. Two experiments will be conducted on this water sphere to observe the state of the water sphere. In the first experiment, the kinetic energy is changed by using two spherical rigid bodies (balls) of different masses, and the state of the water and rigid bodies is observed when they collide with the water sphere that forms a spherical shape due to surface tension. In the second experiment, a rigid body (frame) with angular velocity is brought into contact with a water ball forming a sphere, and the state of the frame and the water ball is observed.

<Points of Selection>
While previous Asian Try Zero-G projects have observed the dynamics of two liquids with different specific gravities, this is the first proposal to observe the dynamic state of liquids and solids.

Study of the height of water which is risen up in microgravity

Thailand (Category 2) Thammasat University

Capillary action in a microgravity environment is verified by measuring height. The height caused by capillary action is considered to depend on parameters such as the density of the liquid (𝜌𝜌), surface tension (T), radius of the tube (r), contact angle (𝜃𝜃), and standard acceleration due to gravity (g) In a microgravity environment, where the effect of gravity is much less than on the ground, it is estimated to be 1.11 times higher than the height of the earth. We will verify the reasonableness of this estimate using microcapillaries of different diameters and straws.

<Points of Selection>
A few experiments have been conducted on capillary phenomena in microgravity environments. In this theme, a sufficient theoretical hypothesis has been examined in advance, and is a proposal to analyze the phenomenon quantitatively.

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