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Published on Mar 28, 2010
In the physical sciences, mass and weight are different properties. Mass is a measure of the amount of matter in the body while weight is a measure of the force on the object caused by a gravitational field. For astronauts in microgravity, no effort is required to hold objects off the cabin floor; they are 'weightless'. However, since objects in microgravity still retain their mass and inertia, an astronaut must exert ten times as much force to accelerate a 10‑kilogram object at the same rate as a 1‑kilogram object.