WORLD CUP: US, Germany tie out of this world for ISS astronauts

Reuters, RECIFE, Brazil

Sat, Jun 14, 2014 - Page 19

For many fans the experience of seeing their team in the World Cup will be out of this world, but for the American and German astronauts aboard the International Space Station it will literally be the case when their teams clash in the tournament.

Reid Wiseman and Steve Swanson of the US, and German Alexander Gerst will be watching from 370km above the Earth when their teams meet in their final Group G game at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife, Brazil, on June 26.

The trio featured in a YouTube video posted on the NASA Web site encouraging fans around the world to enjoy the spectacle, before showing some acrobatic soccer skills carried out in zero gravity conditions.

“We want to wish all the teams and fans on the ground in Brazil a great World Cup. Have fun and have a peaceful Games,” said Gerst, decked out in his Germany national team shirt.

Not to be outdone, fellow astronaut Reid Wiseman had donned a US jersey, before imparting a similar message.

“Have fun, play hard and we’ll be watching on the International Space Station,” Wiseman said.

Wiseman and Gerst joined the expedition in May and whoever wins will have bragging rights aboard the space station for the next few months until their scheduled return to earth in November.

Germany open their World Cup campaign against Portugal in Salvador on Monday, before meeting Ghana next Saturday in Fortaleza.

The US take on Ghana in Natal on Monday and Portugal on June 22 in Manaus before the showdown against Germany.