American Astronauts Lost a Bet and Got Their Heads Shaved in Space

Now their heads look more like planets!
German astronaut Alexander Gerst shaves American Steve Swanson's head. ( Alexander Gerst )

After the United States lost to Germany in World Cup group play on Thursday, American astronauts Reid Wiseman and Steve Swanson went through with their losing side of an international bet, and let German astronaut Alexander Gerst shave Wiseman's head. 

(Gerst, who's already sporting the Mr. Clean look, had agreed to let American astronauts draw a little star-spangled banner on his head if Germany lost.) 

Everybody at the International Space Station seemed to have fun with the bet. (Clearly, they've been getting really into the World Cup up there.) But how, you may ask, does a space haircut even work? Kind of like a vacuum cleaner back on Earth. Regular old clippers are attached to a tube that sucks hair into a bag. Here's a demo from astronaut Chris Hadfield: 

And while Wiseman's new style is cool and everything, the rest of the photos he's been posting are way more awe inspiring than what's happening inside of the spacecraft. 

Presented by

Adrienne LaFrance is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Technology Channel. Previously she worked as an investigative reporter for Honolulu Civil Beat, Nieman Journalism Lab, and WBUR. More

Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Gawker, The Awl, and several other publications.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What LBJ Really Said About Selma

"It's going to go from bad to worse."

Video

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Inside a family's fight to use marijuana oils to treat epilepsy

Video

A Miniature 1950s Utopia

A reclusive artist built this idealized suburb to grapple with his painful childhood memories.

Video

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her school. Then the Internet heard her story.

More in Technology

Just In