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CSI Detective Zack Kowalske is prepared for murders or catastrophic events in space.

SCIENCE & TECH: CSI expert says murder in outer space is ‘inevitable’ — here’s why he’s studying sky-high crime already

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It’s a Sirius problem.

A crime scene specialist is probing the forensics behind how a murder could be investigated in outer space — something he says is “inevitable” in the coming years by way of space tourism.

“Where humanity goes, so too will human behavior,” said Detective Zack Kowalske, who works in CSI for the Roswell, Georgia, police department told Fox News.

“So, being able to understand how to best reconstruct those criminal acts is really important.”

That’s right: The scene in “Armageddon” in which Bruce Willis’ crew finds a gun on their ship isn’t that far off.

To prove the legitimate risk of this “novel” concept, Kowalske and fellow researchers studied how blood and blood stains present themselves in a “microgravity environment,” such as a spacecraft. It was published in the July edition of “Forensic Science International: Reports.”


CSI Detective Zack Kowalske is prepared for murders or catastrophic events in space. Zack Kowalske/Instagram

Tests were run on board a Fort Lauderdale-based, modified Boeing 727 “parabolic” aircraft — known in-house as the “vomit comet” for aggressive zero-gravity astronaut training — that measured a weightless effect on food coloring-based blood synthetic sprayed at a small target.

“The microgravity environment presents unique challenges to the analysis of bloodstain patterns compared to a traditional 1G environment,” the researchers wrote.

It turns out that splatter samples, which looked like Rorschach inkblot tests in red, differ in a zero-G environment and appear much smaller, thanks to a lack of surface tension.

“It actually inhibits the spread of that blood, causing an inaccuracy in your calculation,” Kowalske said of the absence of gravity’s pull.


The tests showed different ways blood appears in zero gravity.
The tests showed different ways blood appears in zero gravity. Zack Kowalske / SWNS

Why is that important? The CSI expert already has a potential scenario in which forensics can come into play.

“Say, hypothetically, we have a ship in orbit and there’s a catastrophic event,” he said.

“We can use bloodstain patterns to reconstruct where crew members were, what positioning they may have been in during the course of that catastrophic failure.”

And then there’s the question of who, exactly, would run a sky-high investigation.

“Jurisdiction will be tricky,” attorney Michelle Hanlon told Fox News. “Space objects remain under the jurisdiction and control of the state that launched the object.”



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