PSU student creates ping pong paddles used by astronaut in space - KPTV - FOX 12

PSU student creates ping pong paddles used by astronaut in space

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Amazing video from space has gone viral and it has a connection to Portland State University.

The video shows Astronaut Scott Kelly playing ping pong aboard the International Space Station. But it's not regular ping pong.

Astronaut Kelly is playing ping pong with water using hydrophobic, or water repellent, paddles.

The paddles are made using geometry and Teflon. The main purpose of the paddles is to repel water, but in zero gravity that means a whole lot more.

The hydrophobic paddles were created by Portland State University senior Karl Cardin.

FOX 12 spoke with Cardin to get his reaction on the viral video.

"Just how he kinda sat back and was able to hit it and he has no time limit just watching it float up there, just being able to see that perfect spherical ball of water and being able to see it in 4k was really really exciting. And just knowing to, looking down at the comments people 'oh I'm gonna show this to my class tomorrow' or 'my 6-year-old said that was cool' and wanted to know how big the water droplet could be that was really exciting for me to be seeing something that is really a scientific topic and everyone was kind of enjoying it on some level."

Cardin says this technology can be used for a variety of everyday things, including water-repellent clothes, camera lenses, and even windshields on cars. It has also been sprayed on buildings to help deter public urination.

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