Don Pettit Is About to Become Your New Favorite Astronaut

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The space station scientist has found the best way imaginable to pass the lonely hours away from earth.

One thing about life on the International Space Station: You end up with a lot of time on your hands. Really, apparently, a lot. And while most of us, should we find ourselves bored, could remedy the situation by going on a walk or catching a movie ... if you live out in space, not so much.

Lucky for us, though, astronaut Don Pettit has found a totally worthwhile way to pass the time not spent berthing space capsules, installing scientific equipment, being a bold explorer into the final frontier, etc. Pettit has been orchestrating space-based science demonstrations, broadcasting them to earth via YouTube in a series he calls Science off the Sphere.

Pettit is clearly incredibly excited about these demonstrations -- and his enthusiasm makes for buoyant viewing, even in zero gravity. A couple weeks ago, the astronaut, chemical engineer, and Eagle Scout took zero-gravitied water droplets and used sound waves to manipulate them. It was beautiful and powerful and weird. Yesterday, though, Pettit outdid himself -- by stripping down to a seemingly self-cut muscle T, taking a vacuum cleaner hose, and using said hose to create a makeshift, spaceborn didgeridoo.

None of that is a typo. 

Don Pettit: scientist, explorer, teacher, musician. Prepare to be charmed.

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Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about innovations in the media.

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