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article imageMagic in Space - First Card Trick in Space with Astronaut Ed Lu

By Bart B. Van Bockstaele     Apr 11, 2010 in Entertainment
In 2003, physicist and astronaut Ed Lu and world-renowned magician James Randi performed what is believed to be the first card trick ever performed in space. The recording of this event can now be seen on YouTube.
Astronaut Ed Lu is one of only a handful of people who can boast to actually have lived in space for some length of time. In 2003, he stayed aboard the International Space Station for six months.
In his luggage, he had a sealed deck of playing cards, which he was only allowed to unseal for the performance of a card trick in which he was playing the role of a magician's assistant. The real magic was performed by James Randi, a world-renowned magician who used to perform as "The Amazing Randi" until his retirement, when he became the world's foremost professional skeptic and went on to found the James Randi Educational Foundation.
The video has an improvised amateurish feel to it. It is obvious that this was more intended as "something that we should do while I am up there" than as a slick, professional presentation.
The symbolic significance of this event is not to be underestimated, however, as it reminds us that scientists -in spite of their training- can be fooled just as easily as any human. That is precisely the message that James Randi and the JREF have often tried to get through: science is well-positioned to discover how nature works, but scientists are not trained to deal with people who have are determined to fool them. They need the input of professional "Conjurers of The Third Kind" as he sometimes calls them.
More about James randi, Astronaut, First card trick space
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