NASA Astronauts Demonstrates Fidget Spinner Spinning In Space!

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A fidget spinner in space! How long does it spin? I’m not sure, but it’s a great way to experiment with Newton’s laws of motion!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.

image/text credit: NASA Johnson

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 explained in the video caption.

First, the spinner can be rotated between an astronaut’s finger or anchored to something, this makes for a fixed axis. Technically, the spinner will come to halt by transferring its momentum to the astronaut or the object it is anchored to. In principle, this would cause a free-floating astronaut to rotate!

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However, since the mass of an astronaut is much larger than a spinner and the radius is now 10-100 times larger, the rate of spin is one-millionth of the original, which you’d obviously never notice. Thus, it would eventually stop.

VIANASA Johnson
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