Mannequin Challenge jumps the shark in zero-G

Mannequin Challenge
Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky stays immobile as he floats in a Superman pose for an out-of-this-world Mannequin Challenge. (ESA via Twitter / Thomas Pesquet)

Standing still for a Mannequin Challenge video is a faddish feat, but floating still in zero-G raises the degree of difficulty to the level of a true challenge. And the crew of the International Space Station proves they’re up to the task.

French astronaut Thomas Pesquet served as the film director for the video, which went viral on social media soon after its release on Dec. 29. On Facebook, Pesquet explained that the video was shot during the six-member crew’s Sunday time off.

Most of the crew members were able to anchor themselves along the walls of the space station’s modules with their feet, but Russia’s Oleg Novitsky (posing as Superman) and NASA’s Peggy Whitson (with the camera) looked as if they had the hardest jobs – that is, staying in one place while floating in midair.

“The result is kind of sci-fi spooky, don’t you think?” Pesquet wrote.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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