In the first live 4k video stream from the International Space Station on Wednesday (April 26), NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer wowed viewers by playing with water in zero-G and in ultra-HD.
The duo started off with a game of "space ping-pong," as Whitson called it, using a weightless wad of liquid water instead of a traditional ping-pong ball. As Whitson and Fischer batted the water around with their paddles, smaller blobs of water broke free from the original ball, making the game a little trickier. The ping-pong match ended with Fischer slurping up the floating liquid. [In Photos: Expedition 51 Mission to the Space Station]
Then they spiced up their water play by adding Alka-Seltzer and food coloring to their weightless water blobs. "A lot of these are things we do to have a little bit of fun just because you can do them in zero gravity," Whitson said during the live stream.
Whitson and Fischer are not the first astronauts to play ping-pong at the space station, but they are the first to do it during a live 4k video stream. In 2016, NASA released a video of astronaut Scott Kelly playing a solo game of zero-G ping-pong at the orbiting laboratory.
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Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at FutureFlight.aero and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at Space.com. As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.