As a child, we all dreamed of being an astronaut. Inspired by Buzz Aldrin (or Buzz Lightyear), we wanted to go to infinity and beyond. That was until we grew up and realized that we couldn’t even burn a cheese puff on a bunsen burner, let alone take a trip into space.
However, sometimes we still fantasize about our youthful dreams and wonder what life would have been like if we had just paid a little more attention to interacting particles and Newtonian laws. Luckily British astronaut, Tim Peake, is here to help us practice our potential with a tricky puzzle that he had to answer before he spent 185 days in space. In 2015, Peake was launched to the International Space Station for Expeditions 46 and 47, which saw him spend 185 days, 22 hours and 11 minutes in space. During his time on the ISS, Peake became a British celebrity, receiving messages of support from the Queen and Elton John. Upon his arrival back to Earth in June 2016, Peake had completed 3,000 orbits of the Earth and covered a distance of 125 million kilometers. This colossal achievement made him one of the most talked about people in the UK, inspiring thousands to follow in his footsteps. However, it isn’t easy easy at he makes it look. Peake had to complete a gruelling physical and mental assessment before he could be considered for the mission, which included a tricky quiz. However, it wasn’t your typical pub quiz (knowing how many number one hits Madonna has had won’t help you in space). The extremely challenging questions can only be answered by a select few people in the world. Are you one of them? There is only one way to find out… If you can complete this puzzling question, then the chances are that you are as intelligent as an astronaut and should probably send your resume in to NASA… The question appears straightforward, lulling you into a false sense of security as you quickly come to a conclusion. However, there is more to it than initially meets the eye. Peake’s 681,000 Facebook followers were left flummoxed by the challenge, with arguments soon erupting in the comments as users fought over the answer and mocked those who got it wrong. The question is dependent on whether you approach the problem literally, or try to think outside of the box. The two different approaches will provide two contrasting answers to the same question. Most of Peake’s followers concluded that the dot would stay on the bottom of the cube, with one user explaining: “Imagine holding the cube in your open hand. That’s how I did it. The dot was on the bottom at the end of the moves. The drawing is of no relevance really when you’re asked to do this in your mind.” “It’s in exactly the same place it was when you started only your perception of the locality of the cube has changed,” wrote another user. However, others were convinced that the question was a trick. “If the question states the dot is on the bottom of the cube, the dot will surely always stay on the bottom of the cube, regardless of the cube’s rotation,” one perplexed user typed. Regardless of the answer, those who considered it all took it very seriously. “It’s not for philosophy school or entrance to debate club. It’s an exam for a heavily technical scientific role where getting the answer correct is imperative,” wrote one user. So, did you get it right? Are you booking your ticket to the moon? Or, are you still scratching your head? Being an astronaut isn’t quite as glamorous as you might think, as Major Tim Peak shows as he films an informative clip on how to go to the toilet in space. It’s a tricky task!
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