April 15th, 2013
11:45 AM ET

What happens if you cry in space?

By Matthew Abshire, CNN

Crying probably isn’t on the top of the list of official experiments being explored on the International Space Station, but that doesn’t stop astronaut Chris Hadfield from demonstrating the phenomenon of human tears in space.

The Canadian ISS commander recently took time to answer a question he says he commonly receives: What happens to your tears when you cry in space? Hadfield's video demonstration will make the inner nerd in you shout with glee.

Hadfield uses a bottle of drinking water to place droplets in his eyes and then proceeds to blink and move around. He shows off this bizarre reality: Tears don't fall in space.

Check out the video to see what happens. Trust me, you’ll understand why Hadfield says that if you’re going to cry in space, bring a hankie.

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Filed under: In Space • People in Orbit
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. pitter

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    June 12, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  2. micro job

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    May 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  3. ?

    i wonder what would happen if you took some dirty old man who hasn't seen a hard since the great depression and put him into zero gravity – nothing short of biblical i imagine

    April 17, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
  4. MOCaseA

    That was pretty interesting, but tear production is much slower and flows in a different direction, not to mention blinking action. Now as I'm sure he has cried for one reason or another and this experiment is similar to crying, but I'm also sure that is more fluid escape (i.e. tears escaping into the atmosphere) with real tears.

    April 16, 2013 at 3:11 am |
  5. helenecha

    Amazing! But hey! Do we call that tears when they are not produced by our body? Is it possible that our tears would find their ways going through inside our bodies and disappear before they’re full of our eyes when we cry in space? Well, are astronauts usually told by the doctor that they’d better drink more water when they’re in space? And by the way, do astronauts have their different special beds and covers in ISS designed by the scientists so as to make them feel as enjoyable as they sleep at home?

    April 16, 2013 at 12:50 am |
  6. vikingwoman

    I would imagine tears float around, just as the person does, in zero gravity!!

    April 15, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
  7. Buck Rogers

    I've often wondered what would happen if one were to fart in space. Has NASA ever done a 'farting in space' experiment to see if, well, a 'big one' were to actually propel an astronaut through the ISS? I suppose such an experiment could be dangerous, especially if it were 'Mexican night'. There'd be astros farting around bumping into equipment, bulkeads and even each other. Better cancel that idea...

    April 15, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • ax

      Gas me up Amigo!!!

      April 16, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • ?

      that is very very funny mr. rogers

      April 17, 2013 at 10:40 pm |


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