• Question: Since there no gravity in space would the people in space would be swimming in air?

    Asked by phguan to Steve, Shefali, Kevin, Katie, Floris, Delma on 11 Jan 2016. This question was also asked by iaaukadmin.
    • Photo: Steve Price

      Steve Price answered on 11 Jan 2016:

      When you swim in water you push your arms forward and try and pull the water back. When the water doesn’t move you go forward instead.
      Similarly on the ISS. It is full of air and with the zero gravity effect you can ‘float’ in the air. Similarly to the water you could swim, however, it is much harder. The density of water is 1000 times greater than air. Secondly although both air and water are fluids, air is a gas while water is a liquid. When you pull against the air it will compress which makes it harder. When pulling against the water it doesn’t compress and it is much easier to move.
      To answer your question, yes people could swim in air, but it would be a lot harder than swimming in water.