Question about the physics of fluttering flags

  1. At the 33 second mark of this video of the Chinese space walk the astronaut moves a flag quickly from right to left.

    The flag flutters as it moves. The purpose of the YouTube video was to prove the Chinese space walks were faked in a water tank.

    I want to know whether the flag is behaving the way it would in water, or in a vacuum. My tendency is to think the flag is behaving the way it would in water. Can anybody clear this up?
  2. jcsd
  3. mgb_phys

    mgb_phys 8,952
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The flag isn't fluttering it is moving how a semi rigid body (eg thick plastic) wouldmove if you shake it.
    In fact it proves it isn't in a fluid - when he moves it backward it is still curved in the same direction - so it can't be moving through anything with resistance.

    Anyway, they wouldn't fake it in a water tank -they would use the same anti-gravity system from the Roswell spaceship that NASA uses to fake all it's space walks.
  4. What about the alleged bubble that is discussed in this video?

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  5. mgb_phys

    mgb_phys 8,952
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    It's a bit of tape from the suit. It's not spherical and it appears to accelarate as it moves which means it is going toward the camera rather than straight up.

    I assume you are looking for arguments to rebute the conspiracy claims?
    If you were going to fake it you could do it all in CGI rather than a water tank.
    A number of neighbouring countries watch this airspace for ballistic launch tracks - do you think there was no launch but USA, Japan, Russia, India, N. Korea are all part of some conspiracy to suppress that?
  6. Actually, I think it was faked in water. I'm having a debate with someone on another forum and I'm looking for information.

    I started talking about the Chinese space walk on page 22 of this thread in post #527.

    Would you like to join in?

    It doesn't look to me like he's shaking it. It looks to me like he's simply pulling it.

    Couldn't that be faked by filming very slow movements and then playing it back at more than double speed?
  7. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Water is far too dense and viscous for the flag to flap around like that. I see no reason to believe it is a fake.
  8. It doesn't follow a straight trajectory the way a bit of tape would. It wants to go straight up and moves along the visor of the helmet until it is able to go straight up at the exact point a bubble would. The behavior is totally consistent with that of a bubble and inconsistent with that of a small object. Also, if it is a small piece of tape, what is the force that makes it start moving in zero-gravity? I can't identify any force making it move except what would make a bubble move in water.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  9. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    They are coming out of the airlock, are they not? A little bit of residual air in the airlock, leaking out of hoses, trapped in the folds of the spacesuit, etc., would explain that.

    What you have here is nowhere near enough to prove your claim.
  10. First we have pseudoscientific claim of NASA faking moon landing - of which the movement of the flag was one of the "reasons" provided - now the Chinese is faking as well? :grumpy:
  11. How do you explain the trajectory? Wouldn't it have gone straight instead of sliding along the visor and then going straight up the way a bubble would have done?

    Also, the fluttering of the flag at the 33 second mark of this clip is consistent with its being in water.

    If you look at the astronaut's arm as he moves the flag quickly from right to left he is not shaking it as was said in post #2.

    The evidence shows that both the Apollo moon landings and the Chinese space walks were faked.

    There's a partial summary of evidence that the Apollo missions were faked in post #1 of this thread on the "Loose Change" forum.

    Why don't you come join in the debate there?
  12. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,529
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    We don't discuss conspiracy theories.
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