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To get into the spirit of last night’s NFL Championship game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) also decided to play “ball.” In a video released by NASA, Tim Kopra is seen gently tossing a football down the length of the ISS. By the time it got to the end, the ball had covered an astounding 564,664-yards or the distance of 5,646.64 football fields!
Sounds impossible? Not when you take into account that the space station orbits our planet at a speed of about 17,500 mph (28,163 km/h). Hence for someone measuring from Earth, the ball along with everything else aboard the ISS was covering 8,800 yards every second! Ignore the speed of the aircraft, and the ball traveled only about 80 yards. Though that is not too shabby either, do keep in mind that unlike Matt Ryan and Tom Brady, Kopra had no resistance from gravity!
Resources: Space.com, BBC.co.uk