ISS Crew Plays Zero-G Soccer! past Thursday, the 2014 FIFA World Cup got underway. And all over the world, fans were glued to their television sets to watch the opening kickoff and the opening match between Croatia and Brazil. Unfortunately, astronauts Reid Wiseman, Steve Swanson, and Alexander Gerst – all of whom are serious “futbol” fans – were all stuck on board the ISS several hundred kilometers away.

But this didn’t stop them from channeling their excitement into a video that shows just how awesome “futbol” would be if played in space. The video was released a day before the games got started, and features all kinds of cool things like slow-motion bicycle kicks and other moves that athletes have a much harder time doing under normal conditions where gravity remains a constant. of course, Wiseman, Swanson and Gerst were sure to wish the teams and fans well in the competition before getting on with their own match. Not only is the resulting video fun thing to watch, it is also a fine representation of the age we live in, where social media and high-speed communications allow everyone – even astronauts – the ability to instantly communicate with the world.

And the video sharing was made all the more easy thanks to the addition of the new Optical Payload for Lasercom Science (OPALS), a laser communications system that allows for speedier transfer of much larger information packages. And be sure to check out the video below:


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