Super Bowl 2024 Reaches Outer Space: ISS Astronauts Play Football in Zero Gravity (Video)

11th Feb 2024
Super Bowl 2024 Reaches Outer Space: ISS Astronauts Play Football in Zero Gravity (Video)

Are you ready for Super Bowl 2024? In a remarkable event, the excitement of Super Bowl LVIII spread beyond Earth as astronauts aboard the International Space Station joined in the fun.

Super Bowl LVIII in outer space

In an unprecedented move, the excitement of Super Bowl LVIII has transcended earthly bounds, as astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) took part in pre-game festivities. NASA’s Expedition 70 crew, comprising astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara, engaged in a zero-gravity football game ahead of the anticipated clash between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas.

Captured in a brief video shared by NASA on social media, the astronauts demonstrated their playful spirit as they tossed the football within the confined quarters of the space station on 10th February. Despite the challenges of weightlessness and the clutter of equipment, Moghbeli and O’Hara displayed their athletic prowess, prompting laughter as the football bounced unpredictably off-screen before floating back into view.

Soon, NASA shared full video in YouTube, featuring two astronauts who explore the similarities between training for space travel and training for the games. They also talk about other things that ISS and Super Bowl have in common. For example, the space station is the same size as a football field, it also has teams, and also rely on good communication. Here’s the full video:

 Canadian Space Agency shares the Super Bowl vibe

However, the extraterrestrial celebration didn’t end there. The Canadian Space Agency joined the cosmic festivities, featuring their Dextre robot donning a football referee jersey on the station’s exterior. In an animated clip shared online, Dextre enthusiastically signalled a touchdown, adding a touch of intergalactic flair to the Super Bowl excitement.

Space and Super Bowl – is it the first collaboration?

This isn’t the first time NASA has intertwined its mission with football fervour. In 2017, Houston, home to NASA’s Mission Control and Johnson Space Center, hosted Super Bowl LI, prompting NASA’s space-themed celebrations and experimentation with NFL footballs. Additionally, in 2010, the opening coin toss of Super Bowl XLIV utilized a coin that had journeyed through space, highlighting the agency’s longstanding connection to the sporting world.

Astronauts Welcome Super Bowl 2017
Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Shane Kimbrough called down to Houston and welcomed football fans to Super Bowl LI festivities. Credit: NASA/James Blair

Former NFL player turned astronaut, Leland Melvin, further solidified the bond between space exploration and football. Drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1986 and later with the Dallas Cowboys, Melvin transitioned to a career with NASA in 1998. He went on to participate in two space shuttle missions before retiring in 2014, embodying the intersection of athleticism and scientific exploration.

As Super Bowl LVIII captivates audiences across the globe, the involvement of astronauts and space agencies serves as a testament to the universal appeal of sports and the boundless reach of human ingenuity, transcending the confines of Earth’s atmosphere.

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