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Apparent Weightlessness in an Elevator
Astronauts have to contend with a number of unusual issues while living on the space station. Possibly the biggest difference between life up there and life down here is the apparent “weightlessness”: Nothing stays put, not even yourself! There’s no guarantee that water flows down, and if you don’t strap yourself in at bedtime, you might wake up in a storage closet.
Many people think that astronauts are weightless because there’s no gravity up there. But as it turns out, the space station is subject to quite a bit of gravity (How else would it stay in orbit?). In fact, the Earth’s gravitational force at the space station’s altitude is only about 10% less than what it is at the earth’s surface. So what’s going on?
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