Chinese Astronauts Accomplishes The Difficult Task Of Lighting A Match In Microgravity Environment

Matchbox Tiangong

Two astronauts on board China’s Tiangong space station have done the seemingly impossible: light a candle with a match during a live broadcast.

While striking a match isn’t exactly a high-risk maneuver here on Earth, the situation’s a lot more harrowing on board a space station. As points out, any forms of open flame are strictly prohibited on board the International Space Station.

The demonstration is a fun reminder of how fire behaves in microgravity environments. Instead of hot air rising, giving a flame its distinctive shape, the flame diffuses in all directions, causing the match to be engulfed in a small sphere of fire.

And given the risks involved, China’s space agency is clearly confident in its ability to suppress a fire in the case of an emergency.