Are You Smarter Than an Astronaut? Try These Brain Teasers to Find Out

You apparently need lots of mental dexterity if you're blasting into orbit.

Every kid dreams of someday becoming an astronaut. But despite what Hollywood films would have you believe, training to function in space isn't all fun and games in anti-gravity chambers. In addition to medical tests and psychological examinations, they have to pass a series of tests that measure their logic and problem-solving skills. Many of the questions take the form of puzzles, some of which will soon be shared in British astronaut Tim Peak's The Astronaut Selection Test Book: Do You Have What it Takes?

Peak is a member of The European Space Agency (ESA), and he bears the distinction of being the sixth person born in the United Kingdom to go on board the International Space Station. Recently, he shared three brainteasers that he had solve during his own selection process, and they are real doozies. You can try your hand at the puzzles yourself below. And for another brainteaser that really stumped the Internet, check out Can You Guess How Many Triangles Are in This Viral Photo?

Fill the Missing Square

puzzle from the Astronaut Selection Test Book

Which combination of shapes should fill the missing square? And the answer is…


bad puns

According to Peake, the right answer is B because "the pattern mirrors adjacent shapes but in different colors."

Wheel Radius

puzzle from Astronaut Selection Book

Wheel 1 and 2 have the same radius. If wheel 1 is being driven, will wheel 2 rotate as fast as wheel 1, faster than wheel 1, slower than wheel 1, or doe wheel 2 not rotate at all? And the answer is…


space prediction

Peake says that "wheels of same radius at start and end of the sequence will spin at the same speed."

3-D Shape

puzzle from astronaut selection test

If a line runs through the middle of a 3-D shape such that it is equidistant from all surfaces, what does the shape look like? And the answer is…


International Space Station

Peake said that, "for the mathematicians, it's essentially asking for the locus of a straight line."

To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter!   


Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
Filed Under