Astronauts are the best of the best—there’s no denying that. These scientists, soldiers, and adventurers brave the unknown in our quest to explore the universe around us. But even these heroes need something to keep their sanity. Psychologists encourage astronauts to keep their habits as much as possible when they voyage out of the confines of our planet.
One particular habit is playing scrabble. Of course, the challenge is that Scrabble is completely dependent on one force that doesn’t accompany astronauts into space—gravity.
The tiles for Scrabble need to stay in place, and without gravity to aid in that, those little squares could end up floating around the confines of a spaceship, potentially interfering with delicate equipment. Chris Hadfield, and astronaut and author of An Astronaut’s Guide to Life, explained, “Our Scrabble board had Velcro on the back, as did each alphabet piece.
The beauty of a spaceship is that if you lose a piece you only have to wait until it turns up in the air filter.” The Space Scrabble edition abandoned the Velcro approach and opted instead for a magnetic board and magnetized tiles. The boards and pieces also feature meteorite dust.
The boards are limited edition and will soon be going into space to be a part of the international space stations currently orbiting the globe, but before they go, you can see them in an exhibition in London and Paris.