Given the general lack of gravity while participating in interstellar travel, many have become concerned about how they can celebrate moments of spectacle and awe in a zero G environment with a high-five.
The high-five was initially designed as both a greeting and celebratory ritual within the range of Earth’s gravitational force. Without gravity, the high-five loses its full physical impact and sonic resonance. However, the high-five has become an essential human interaction, and interstellar space travel will be unable to accommodate the full needs of the human species without innovations in how to achieve a satisfactory meeting of palms.
Fortunately, billions of dollars of research and countless experiments have been compiled together in order to create this state-of-the-art guide for zero gravity high-five’s.
Before we begin, please remember the three P’s of zero-gravity high-fives: Propulsion, Proximity, and Position.
Propulsion: The speed at which two objects (typically hands) approach each other must have some sort of force to move drive the action. If in space with no source of propulsion, the space traveler will be spiraling slowly with no chance to move in the desired direction.
Proximity: The two hands participating in the zero-gravity high-five need to be close enough to reach each other. If separated by several galaxies, it is nearly impossible for the two hands to reach.
Position: Pay attention to how the to space-participants are positioned toward each other. A high-five is a palm-to-palm interaction, not palm-to-thumb, or palm-to-back-of-hand interaction. The position of the hand on approach to the other hand is essential to the success of the zero-gravity high-five.
1. Close-quarters High-Five
The easiest place to perform a high-five is in a compact space within your interstellar vehicle. This can be a closet, engine room, small cabin, cockpit, etc. The space just needs enough room for two persons, and for the elbow and arm to make the necessary rotation for satisfactory impact.
Have each person find a place to brace themselves, preferably with three points of contact (one hand, two feet. This can vary depending the number of a person’s limbs). Once both participants are fully braced and positioned in tight proximity, then they need to propel their arms toward each other in order to achieve the high-five.
Tests of this method have achieved effective results, and show this to be the least expensive method of high-fives. However, the satisfaction of participants is not as high as with other methods.
2. Rocket-fueled High-Five
Often, during space travel, astronauts are participating in activities outside of their vehicle. During these times, it is impossible to find a compact space to perform a high-five in celebration of extraterrestrial phenomena.
At these times, it is essential to gain some form of propulsion. Hopefully, your space suit is already equipped with a rocket pack of some kind. If it is not, look around for other resources, such as a satellite you can borrow, or a comet you can lasso. Once a device is equipped, then the two participants need to coordinate their telemetry and position themselves on an intercept trajectory. As soon as optimal proximity is achieved, the two participants should be able to participate in an epic and highly-satisfactory high-five.
3. Interplanetary High-Five
The Interplanetary High-Five is similar to the Rocket-Fueled High-Five, except the two participants used a near-lightspeed vehicle to circle around a planet, and then use the gravitational pull of the planet to sling-shot themselves together.
It takes great technical planning and navigation to successfully reach the Impact Zone, as well as slowing down the vehicles enough that all outstretched limbs remain attached to participants once this high-velocity high-five is achieved.
When achieved, this is one of the most satisfactory high-fives. Scientists hypothesize this is due to the extended delay between the decision to high-five and the super-sonic impact.
4. Worm Hole High-Five
When separated by great distances, whether across a galaxy or the entire universe, the quickest method for achieving a high-five is via wormhole. While there is a tingling sensation when reaching an arm through the wormhole, and a distortion of the sonic impact when a high-five is achieved, the satisfaction level was astoundingly high.
The challenge of this method is in locating said wormholes. While there are many throughout the cosmos, it is challenging to locate one which connects the desired participants. Most who high-five like to be familiar with their high-fiving partner.
5. Inter-Dimensional Clap
When researchers discovered the desire of high-five participants to be knowledgeable of their partners, they came upon the most astounding and marvelous of techniques.
With the discovery of ‘mirror universes,’ or alternate dimensions, researchers have developed portal-mirrors to facilitate this high-five technique.
First, participants send a message to their alternate selves via the portal-mirrors. Second, participants reach through the mirror and high-five their alternate self.
This is the most controversial of methods for some researchers have determined this is not a high-five, but a clap. A clap is the action of bringing one’s palms together in celebration. A high-five, on the other hand, requires two unique participants.
More research and debate will be necessary for the scientific community to define the particular action of high-fiving oneself via an alternate dimension. However, both versions of participants found the activity highly satisfactory and enjoyable. (This excludes participants whose Inter-Dimensional High-Five rippled the fabric of time and space, thus causing one or both of the participants to move dimensions or cease to exist entirely.)
Thank you for your interest in this developing science. If you find yourself in need of an high-fiving while traveling in space, feel free to bring a copy of this guide with you.
What are your favorite methods for high-fives? What challenges do zero-gravity environments present for social interaction? Do you believe an Interdimensional Clap is a high-five or a clap?