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TBA
Space Matters


Find out how understanding the behavior of matter at very low temperatures is critical to space exploration

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Goddard Digital Learning Network


Event Materials
Liquefying Air
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Liquefying Air
We are all familiar with the fact that hot air expands and cold air contracts. This video takes that idea to a level beyond what we see in everyday life. We take balloons filled with air and cool them with liquid nitrogen, which is at a temperature of minus 196 Celsius (minus 320 Fahrenheit). The balloons shrink visibly as the air inside them contracts. Some of the air even condenses into liquid air.
Properties of Matter
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Properties of Matter
This video shows how ordinary objects can have some strange properties when we cool them down to cryogenic temperatures. We use liquid nitrogen at a temperature minus 196 Celsius (minus 320 Fahrenheit) to cool bananas and flowers. The bananas become so strong when they freeze that we can use them as hammers. The flowers become so brittle that they shatter when grasped.
Changing Phases
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Changing Phases
Changing phases from liquid to gas requires energy.  Observe how much energy is required in this animated phase change diagram for water.
Cryogenics Lab Tour
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Cryogenics Lab tour
Take a tour of the Goddard Space Flight Center Cryogenics lab where virtually all of the testing is performed at extremely low temperatures.
Lab Safety
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Lab Safety
Safety plays an integral role in NASA's quest to expand frontiers in aeronautics and space. Safety comes first for everyone associated with NASA, including those in Cryogenics.

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Editor: Silvia Stoyanova
NASA Official: Brian Dunbar
Last Updated: December 8, 2005
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