Dreidels and Spacecrafts Hanukkah Special!

What is the connection between a dreidel and a spacecraft?

If you ever tried to hold still a dreidel when it is not spinning, you probably know that it’s almost mission impossible. So why is a dreidel more stable when it is spinning? It turns out that it’s because of the same reason that satellites and spacecrafts use rotation as a stability factor during their movement in space. The faster the rotation speed, the longer the spacecraft keeps on spinning. As soon as the rotation speed lowers, it becomes less stable. When a dreidel is spinning on the floor or on a table, there is friction both with the surfaceand with the air, which slows down the speed. The friction in space is much smaller, therefore a satellite or a spacecraft’s rotation lasts longer.

And why would we want to stabilize the spacecraft during its journey to the Moon?

A) To take advantage of solar energy: We want the spacecraft’s solar panels to point towards the sun at all times and allow recharge.

B)In order to save fuel: When the spacecraft is unstable, igniting the engines is necessary in order to correct the direction of motion, so more fuel is wasted.

C) Another reason is related to the location of the spacecraft and the solar energy: If the spacecraft is not rotating, only one side of the spacecraft will turn to the sun and warm up, and the other side will stay cold. Such temperature differences of hundreds of degrees is dangerous to the functioning of the spacecraft.

Create your own dreidle/ spacecraft for Hanuukah!

Happy Holidays!


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