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November 22 2012

In Space, Flames Behave in Ways Nobody Thought Possible


Recent tests aboard the International Space Station have shown that fire in space can be less predictable and potentially more lethal than it is on Earth. “There have been experiments,” says NASA aerospace engineer Dan Dietrich, “where we observed fires that we didn’t think could exist, but did.”

That fire continues to surprise us is itself surprising when you consider that combustion is likely humanity’s oldest chemistry experiment, consisting of just three basic ingredients: oxygen, heat and fuel.

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