Students from the Quest Institute in San Jose, California, have started participating in experiments aboard the International Space Station. There's just one thing: the students are still here on Earth.

The students are researching how metal reacts in space, and this, according to Microsoft, is the very first experiment designed with Windows 10 IoT, a core version of the Windows 10 that utilises the Universal Windows Platform API to build solutions for different devices.

Microsoft launched the experiment platform into space in October aboard the Antares OA5 Mission rocket, and astronauts were able to connect it to the ISS last week. Now, the students have started receiving live data from the ISS—via the Windows 10 IoT system—so they could analyse how metals behave in microgravity.

The experiment will test the pliability of metals in space with the goal of better understanding how metals react in space, according to Microsoft. Ultimately, the results will help better understand how to manipulate metals and debris on board the ISS.

“It’s important to encourage STEM education starting at an early age, and space science is a phenomenal way to get kids excited about STEM fields,” said Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president and Microsoft’s chief evangelist. “We are proud to be part of this effort and that Windows 10 is the platform that is helping students reach new heights.”