Astronauts Test Newton's Laws Of Motion Using Fidget Spinners In Space, And We Can't Look Away

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Nov. 18 2019, Updated 2:35 p.m. ET

It's pretty expensive to send stuff into space. As much as $43,180 per pound according to some estimates. Though SpaceX is hoping to get that figure down to around $9,100 per pound. The price doesn't vary a ton by weight either. It's mostly in the logistics. As rocket fuel is expensive and the math that goes into even an extra few pounds can be complex. Not to mention all the time and money that has to be spent to make sure the stuff actually gets there. It's one of the reasons delays on launches are also so common. You just don't willy nilly fire something into space. It's just too expensive to waste!

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So just how much would it cost to send a fidget spinner to space? Based on that higher figure, and fidget spinners weighing about 16 grams, around $1,500. Which seems like a bargain.  We're wondering if they just snuck these on in their pockets.

That's probably why NASA decided to send astronauts on the International Space Station one of the hottest toys of 2017 as an early holiday gift. Adorned with the NASA logo, the video starts with NASA flight engineer Mark Vande Hei having some fun testing out the laws of physics. 

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But it's not all about fun. There is some science being done. 

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As NASA Johnson explained in the YouTube post: 

"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." 
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While the fidget spinner spins longer than on Earth, it still eventually stops because of the air resistance inside the space station. 

People were pretty supportive of this piece of very important science. 

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Science can be fun.

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