In an orbiting space shuttle, you are handed two identical closed boxes, one filled with sand, the other filled with feathers. How can you tell which is which with out opening the boxes?
Well, it's your homework, not mine, but here's a hint: a given volume of sand has more mass than the same volume of feathers. This means that it will take more force to move the box of sand than it will to move the box of feathers.
See if you can figure it out from here.
The Space Shuttle was a manned orbital rocket and spacecraft system operated by NASA on 135 missions from 1981 to 2011. The system combined rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons. Major missions included launching numerous satellites and interplanetary probes, conducting space science experiments, and 37 missions constructing and servicing the International Space Station. A major international contribution was the Spacelab payload suite, from the ESA.
Major components included the orbiters, recoverable boosters, external tanks, payloads, and supporting infrastructure.
Shake both boxes. Even though they have no weight, they still retain their masses. The sand has greater mass. This means that the sand will resist shaking more than does the box of feathers.
Option 1: Take a wrench to the guy who handed you the boxes.
Option 2: Sonar/ultrasound. Sand and feathers would have different profiles.
Option 3: Set both boxes on fire. Incineration is not opening.
Option 4: Centrifuge.
Remember that mass and therefore inertia is invariant no matter where you are. They may both have no weight, but they will behave differently when you try to move them.