Astronauts have smuggled fidget spinners onto the International Space Station

On Earth, it’s very easy to get your hands on a fidget spinner, should you feel so inclined. For a time, every tiny shop in London seemed to be boasting of “fidget spinners available here” as if they were some rare commodity, rather than a 21st century yo yo.

If you needed more evidence that we’re past peak fidget spinner saturation, then look no further than the International Space Station (ISS), which now seems to have its own NASA-branded fidget spinners on board, despite the shortage of nearby supermarkets.

Of course, they don’t function in quite the same way that they do on Earth. The low gravity conditions of the ISS means that when the astronauts let go of the toy, it floats around and continues to spin without losing momentum.

Why does it keep spinning? Astronaut Randy Bresnik explains in the video caption that: “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.”

So now you know. Theoretically, it will stop spinning eventually – the lower friction and air pressure will eventually slow it to a halt, but who wants to watch a video that long, even with a fidget spinner-enhanced attention span?

You can watch the video below and see it for yourself.

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