Shuttle Crew Tests Way to Forge Glass


Astronauts tested glassmaking techniques and studied the confused behavior of tadpoles hatched in space Tuesday.

Chemist Mamoru Mohri, Japan's first professional astronaut, attempted to forge glass in a high-tech furnace that suspends the ingredients with sound waves.

The technique allows the production of ultra-pure materials. Glass made in such a furnace has potential applications in fiber-optic communication technology.

Scientists at a control center in Huntsville, Ala., crouched around a television monitor early Tuesday as Dr. Mae Jemison beamed down pictures of 2-day-old tadpoles. The amphibians darted around and swam in circles, activity that differs from their behavior on Earth.

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