NASA astronaut demonstrates the physics of yo-yos in space

By Muriel Kane
Sunday, August 12, 2012 18:30 EDT
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Don Pettit and yo-yo screencap
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Don Pettit likes to play with a yo-yo. In space. In zero-G. And because he’s a NASA astronaut, he gets to do just that.

He also gets to make up new tricks that would be impossible on Earth.

“You’ve got all of these neat pieces of physics working on this,” Pettit explains, “and it’s good to understand the physics of your recreational activities. … You can impress people by talking about the physics of your yo-yo.”

“If you’re a guy,” he goes on, “just think, you can impress the gals by talking about the physics of how your yo-yo works. … If you’re a gal … again, learn the physics, and when you talk about the physics of how the yo-yo works … you can impress the guys. And of course 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.”

Pettit’s dreams of yo-yos spicing up a geek’s love life may be unrealistic. But his zero-G tricks are beautiful.

Via io9

This video was uploaded to YouTube by PhysicsCentralAPS on August 9, 2012.

Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane is an associate editor at Raw Story. She joined Raw Story as a researcher in 2005, with a particular focus on the Jack Abramoff affair and other Bush administration scandals. She worked extensively with former investigative news managing editor Larisa Alexandrovna, with whom she has co-written numerous articles in addition to her own work. Prior to her association with Raw Story, she spent many years as an independent researcher and writer with a particular focus on history, literature, and contemporary social and political attitudes. Follow her on Twitter at @Muriel_Kane
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