Do you have what it takes?
Major Tim Peake has become one of the most well-known people to conquer the next frontier of space, but it’s not because of his major achievements while working on the International Space Station. Major Tim’s fun personality and likable demeanor have endeared him to young and old alike who always had dreams about blasting off into the unknown.
Tim has released a book about his time in space, and he revealed the rigorous process that one must go through to be picked to go out on missions like his. Prospective astronauts are asked to take a number of tests which include puzzles. One of his puzzles has floored his fans who just can’t figure it out.
Major Tim rocketed off for this long-duration flight on the International Space Station on December 15, 2015. He was the first British astronaut to enter the station! While there, he conducted a spacewalk, piloted Mars Rover “Bridget” on a course in Stevenage U.K., and lead spacecraft to dock at the station. He even ran the 2016 London Marathon remotely from the ISS treadmill on April 24, 2016.
Major Tim landed back on Earth on June 18, 2016 after spending precisely 185 days, 22 hours and 11 minutes in space. His experiments and the wealth of data collected about how he reacted in space has given scientists a vast amount of new information about the the human body.
Major Tim became a celebrity during his missions. His videos on YouTube and live broadcasts where he explained everything about living in space went viral. Not only was he popular with average people around the world, he received letters from the like of Sir Elton John and The Queen of England!
A Simple Puzzle
His celebrity hasn’t waned now that he’s Earthbound. He released his hit book Ask an Astronaut: My Guide to Life in Space on October 24, and it’s full of information about things that only space travelers know about. He also included some questions from the test that you have to pass in order to be considered for astronaut status. He published one such puzzle on social media, and it puzzled his followers for days.
The puzzle shows a cube with a dot on the bottom side. It goes like this:
“Imagine that you are facing a cube. This cube can roll to the left, right, forward (towards you) of backwards (away from you). There is a dot on the bottom of the cube. Now in your mind, roll the cube: forward, left, left, forward, right, backwards, right. Where’s the dot?”
Most of his fans concluded that the dot was still on the bottom when the journey was completed, but they started second guessing the puzzle, wondering if it was somehow a trick. Some of them believed that the answer couldn’t have been that simple to come by if an astronaut had to answer it.
Facebook user Jim King queried:
“Does ‘forward’ mean towards the near-left or near-right? Can’t follow ambiguous instructions, and making an assumption about them that might be different to the person who wrote them would be potentially dangerous.” User Suzanne Elkin gave out another theory, “This cube looks transparent. Could the dot be on the floor underneath the cube and therefore remain exactly where it’s is? Although it does say on the bottom of the cube…. just trying to think outside the box!”
User Dan Anderson really got into the puzzle:
“Ambiguous image and ambiguous instruction. It’s on an isometric angle so forward toward you could mean using either the bottom left or bottom right land points. Also it could be a trick question. The answer could be something like ‘still on the cube’ or do they want you to figure out it out in your head using spatial awareness?”
Finally, Tim relived all of these hard-thinking people and gave them the answer. He wrote, “I loved reading all your answers…and congratulations to all those who said it ended up on the bottom of the cube!”
Do you think you have what it takes to be an astronaut after this? Let us know what you think in the comments and SHARE this story!