NASA astronaut uses popular fidget spinners to test Newton's law of motion

Add the International Space Station to the seemingly endless list of places where you can find a fidget spinner either being used or advertised for sale. 

While some schools have banned the objects that advertise themselves as a means to help people focus, they can be found just about anywhere. From gas stations to party stores and you can even type “fidget spinner” into Google to “spin” a virtual one. 

NASA astronaut Randolph J. Bresnik tweeted a video of what happens to a fidget spinner when it’s used in space. He tweeted that he’s not sure how long the thing spins for, but that “it’s a great way to experiment with Newton’s laws of motion!”

The red and black fidget spinner complete with a NASA logo in the middle seems to spin at a high rate of speed for as long as someone would let it. In the video embedded above, the astronauts have some fun with the fidget spinners at zero-gravity. The team performs some tricks and even mimic the spinner’s movements with some barrel rolls. 

“Allowing the fidget spinner to float reduces the bearing friction by permitting the rate of the central ring and outer spinner to equalize, and the whole thing spins as a unit,” Bresnik writes. 

The astronaut is part of the Expedition 52/53 crew that launched in July 2017. He is part of a three-man crew with a member of the European Space Agency and Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). They will remain on the International Space Station for five months. 

The fidget spinner is considered a stress relieving device that exploded onto the scene back in early spring of this year. They typically have two to three prongs extending from a cylinder where there is a button at the center, sort of like an airplane propeller. When the center is held and the blades flicked, the toy spins and vibrates. 

Read more

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *