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"Because I'm in space, and I can, I get to name these yo-yo tricks."
August 11, 2012 5:47 PM   Subscribe

NASA Astronaut Don Pettit uses his off-duty time to practice his microgravity yo-yo skills.
posted by OverlappingElvis (39 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
Why aren't we spinning the habitat to provide gravity?
posted by anigbrowl at 5:55 PM on August 11, 2012


Hearing him evangelize science via yo-yo near the end of the video is cute.
posted by cornmander at 5:58 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


If you're a guy, just think, you can impress the gals by explaining how your yo-yo works.

How can somebody so cool be so uncool?
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:07 PM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


"You can impress the gals by talking about the physics of how your yoyo works".

That's how you ended up in a cell orbiting the Earth in the first place.
posted by howfar at 6:07 PM on August 11, 2012 [17 favorites]


If you add the tag donpettit and click it, you'll find you are not alone in your love of the Don Pettit here: don pettit; don pettit;...
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:15 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


What a terrific, wonderful nerd!
posted by aubilenon at 6:18 PM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


How can somebody so cool be so uncool?

That's how you ended up in a cell orbiting the Earth in the first place.

Speak for yourselves. I think smart is dead sexy and I get a little thrill when my husband shows his (impressive) intelligence.
posted by cooker girl at 6:19 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Does he have a little cold, or does being in microgravity make your sinuses stuffy? I guess it would make sense if it did - just never noticed this before. Anybody know?
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:23 PM on August 11, 2012


I don't know if he's in space all the time or what but somehow Don Pettit just will not stop doing awesome nerdy stuff on the ISS and letting me watch. If you want more, all these Science off the Sphere videos are pretty awesome:
  1. Dancing Droplets
  2. Bistro-nauts
  3. Thin Film Physics
  4. Lenses and Vortices
  5. Fun with Antibubbles
  6. Earth in Infrared
  7. Space Soundwaves
  8. Goo!
  9. Electric Didgeridoo
  10. 1.21 Legowatts
  11. Space Balloonacy
  12. Spring Theory
  13. Astro Puffs
posted by floam at 6:28 PM on August 11, 2012 [20 favorites]


OH GOD PEOPLE ARE BEING DORKS IN SPACE I CANNOT EVEN
posted by The Whelk at 6:32 PM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


His blog is awesome in extreme amounts.

SPACE DINNER PARTY ETIQUETTE
posted by winna at 6:42 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, scroll down to see it. The permalink to the space dinner etiquette didn't link straight to the post.
posted by winna at 6:43 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Because I'm in space - and I can - I get to name these yo-yo tricks as I invent them."

For some reason, that made me start laughing uncontrollably.
posted by kbanas at 6:47 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh heavens the man has invented a proper cup for the use of the space people.

I guess that's what you do when one of your interst is reduced gravity fluid flow.
posted by winna at 6:48 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why aren't we spinning the habitat to provide gravity?
Because it would fly apart? Because one of the main uses of the space station is to provide a microgravity lab? Because that's like half the fun of being on space station in the first place?

Also, the centrifugal force created by spinning the space station would be different distances from the center, That's why you see 'ring' station designs, so that most of the areas are the same distance from the rotational hub, and thus feel the same force.
posted by delmoi at 6:52 PM on August 11, 2012


Because it would fly apart? Because one of the main uses of the space station is to provide a microgravity lab? Because that's like half the fun of being on space station in the first place?

Is attaching some kind of spinning sleeping-pod/habitation module really than bad of an idea or intractable physics/engineering issue for the ISS? You don't need to spin the whole thing. The ISS in my opinion is as much about getting practice Being Good At Space in a relatively safe sandbox as it is microgravity research and the health issues need to be solved someday.
posted by floam at 7:00 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't know how much it cost to send Don to space, but that video made it worth every penny.
posted by procrastination at 7:12 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Being Good At Space in a relatively safe sandbox

I originally read that as "relativity safe sandbox" and thought "if you want to do that, you probably shouldn't be going so fast."
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:13 PM on August 11, 2012


I love the Space Dinner Party Etiquette!
Putting down fresh duct tape and cleaning the previous food crud off spoons is good advice no matter where you're hosting.
posted by rmless at 7:14 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Artificial gravity is going to be hard to design effectively. Currently the big idea is short radius centrifuge, but the effectiveness is only theoretical at this point.

And even if we did figure out how to implement it, the question of how to design for it is still unresolved. This fascinating PDF talks about the design challenges of the first space stations to ensure that the astronauts didn't get constant vertigo from not having reliable visual references to direction - a whole new architechtural language would have to be created.

Yes I am a great big dork.
posted by winna at 7:19 PM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Also, the centrifugal force created by spinning the space station would be different distances from the center

Sounds like a good test rig. Have your astronauts sleep 6-8 hours per day at various distances from the center, and see which ones stop getting osteoporosis and bulging eyeballs. Now we know what fraction of the full 9.8 m/s2 Earth gravity is actually necessary.
posted by floam at 7:20 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does he have a little cold, or does being in microgravity make your sinuses stuffy?

Fluids float to the top of the body in zero g, so astronauts tend to get stuffy noses.

As for artificial gravity on the ISS, there are ideas, at least for tests (see current status section in the link). But nothing seems to be happening. The last test that i know of was on Gemini 11 in 1966.

Which is a shame, because would make the long trips easier for the human body.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:30 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


How can somebody so cool be so uncool?--Joe in Australia

There's going to be a class a gals that won't be interested in that and won't be impressed but then those are the kind you don't want to be around.

There's going to be some guys that won't be impressed because they don't like physics. You don't want to hang around those kind of guys anyway.


It all depends on who you want to impress.
posted by eye of newt at 7:59 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


So not gay. I love this man. He is my hero.
posted by nevercalm at 8:44 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


After reading a few pages of his blog, I am now heavily invested in Baby Zuc and Sunflower and Broccoli.
posted by IndigoRain at 9:14 PM on August 11, 2012


> proper cup

but not proper coffee. If that's what they serve in space, I'm staying earthbound.
posted by morganw at 10:18 PM on August 11, 2012


Space Cadet.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:25 PM on August 11, 2012


Additional cool things about Don Pettit:

1) He has (had?) a jet engine in his garage that he used to produce liquid oxygen. Just because.

2) He stopped his truck in the middle of he street to get out and meet a bunch of science nerds from his undergrad institution visiting NASA for the week. When this caused us to be late for an Important Meeting, he wrote on an 8 1/2 x 11 photo of himself "Bill, My fault these kids are late. -Don Pettit" Autograph and late note all in one!
posted by StrangerInAStrainedLand at 10:40 PM on August 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


Don Pettit is one of the most attractive men I've ever seen swing a yoyo in space. Or anywhere else. It's his voice and way of speaking, and choice of topics. Always takes me by surprise.
posted by Goofyy at 4:28 AM on August 12, 2012


Don. Dude. Less chatter, more space Yo-Yo.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:33 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Since the Russians beat us in the First Guitar Played in Space race on Mir, a I guess yo-yo is as good as anything for the next "first X in space".
posted by tommasz at 6:08 AM on August 12, 2012


Don Pettit space tricks not approved for public release:
1. Juggling space knives.
2. Urine trouble!
3. Out of oxygen prank.
4. High velocity propulsion I-Sneeze
5. High velocity propulsion II-Fart
6. Solar flaring!
7. High velocity propulsion III-Fire Extinguisher
8. Where can you hide on the ISS?
9. Zero gravity grappling.
10. Out the airlock the hard way!
posted by orme at 6:42 AM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


What kind of yoyo is that? Does it have some sort or special axle that allows him to hold it like that while it spins?
posted by Ad hominem at 9:04 AM on August 12, 2012


There's going to be a class a gals that won't be interested in that and won't be impressed but then those are the kind you don't want to be around . . .

I'd like to think he has teenaged kids on Earth that just clutch their hair and say GOD, DAD, when he says this kind of thing, causing him to say it more often.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:08 AM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah special space yoyo. Fucking cheater, let's see you do that shit with a beat to hell duncan with a way too tight string. Dude has "precision ball bearings" of course he can do all those string tricks. People in space think they are soooooo cool with their special space yoyos.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:08 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


this is awesome!
I was really impressed by the tea cup, it reminds me why i studied physics in the first place and kinda makes me regret giving up my childhood dream of becoming an astronaut.
these guys are even cooler than what i thought :)
posted by ye#ara at 9:14 AM on August 12, 2012


"Hear that, it's the sound of precision ball bearings how awesome I am."
posted by hellphish at 2:03 PM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yay!

And MAN I want to be there, so much, ache to be there.
posted by Cosine at 5:35 PM on August 12, 2012


I am finally reading through his whole blog, linked by winna above, and it is terrific. Anyone interested, I recommend reading it; it's worth an FPP on its own.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:05 PM on August 12, 2012


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