World Cup In Space: United States And German Astronauts Play Soccer On ISS

Posted: Jun 26 2014, 12:58am CDT | by , Updated: Jun 26 2014, 1:01am CDT, in News | Also on the Geek Mind

World Cup in Space: United States and German Astronauts Play Soccer on ISS
Photo Credit: NASA
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Like the gravitational pull of a black hole, the World Cup is so powerful that you can’t escape it even if you’re in orbit. When the astronauts haven’t been busy, they’ve been watching snippets of games being streamed to them via the station’s Internet.

Thursday’s match between U.S. and Germany, which will help determine who advances from Group G, has struck a particular chord with the astronauts. That’s because of the astronauts currently on board, two of them, Reid Wiseman and Steve Swanson, are from the United States, and one of them, Alexander Gerst, is from Germany.

To help celebrate the upcoming match, NASA released a video of the three astronauts showing off their soccer skills in zero gravity. The video features some upside down kicks, a header, and some sideline cheering action from the station’s robot astronaut, Robonaut 2.

In addition to their own game, the astronauts have their own personal stakes on Thursday’s match.

“If the U.S. wins, these guys are going to draw a little U.S. flag on my head, but I think if Germany wins these guys should have to shave their heads. Either way I’m looking forward to the game. It’s going to be fun,” Gerst said in a press release.

As it does with many pop culture events, NASA is using this opportunity to show off what’s happening with its programs and in particular on board the International Space Station. You can see all of its tie-in stories here.

Watch the astronauts play zero-g soccer in the video below:

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