European astronauts took the mannequin challenge to a whole new level. Big was the surprise this Thursday when European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet uploaded a video where he was, along with his colleagues, floating still on the International Space Station in zero-gravity. The mannequin challenge has officially made it to outer space.
The mannequin challenge started as a simple class prank when Twitter user @thvtmelanin_, a high school student named Emily, began posing as a dummy in front of her class in a school in Jacksonville, Florida. Then, her classmates encouraged her to keep doing it and make it public.
Soon after posting the challenge on the social media, it went viral almost immediately and now many celebrities have performed it. Personalities like Kevin Hart, Adele, Paul McCartney, Britney Spears, and even former U.S President Barack Obama took on the challenge. Now it’s the turn of Thomas Pesquet and the crew of astronauts to take it to new heights.
Thomas Pesquet, the French astronaut, born in February 1978, wrote online the crew usually has Sundays off, so they seize the moment to play around in microgravity.
We got the whole crew together and took the #MannequinChallenge to new heights #Proxima pic.twitter.com/vlOglQ3lEh
— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) December 29, 2016
In a few hours of posted the video, it received more than 40.000 likes and about 6000 shares. In the 29-second footage, you can see all the expedition 50’s members on the International Space Station (ISS) doing this viral challenge once started by a teenager.
The astronauts you can see in the video are Oleg Novitskiy, Sergei Ryzhikov and Andrei Borisenko and NASA’s Peggy Whitson and Shane Kimbrough.
Why is the “spatial” mannequin challenge a real challenge?
Aboard the International Space Station astronauts are constantly experiencing something that is called microgravity. According to the NASA, microgravity is when things seem to be weightless.
In that environment, it is easy to handle a heavy object. The fact astronauts are in microgravity makes it simple to move things, but the real challenge is to stay completely still.
When you apply force on an object in microgravity, it will continue moving until an external force makes it stop. The same happens to people trying to remain still in front of the camera.
The slightest motion will cause an astronaut to start flying back and forth or start spinning around nonstop. All this without mentioning all the small objects that are out of the astronaut’s reach. That is why the spatial mannequin challenge is so awe-inspiring.