Nasa and ESA astronauts play first tennis match in space aboard ISS

  • Nasa and ESA astronauts play first tennis match in space aboard ISS

Nasa and ESA astronauts play first tennis match in space aboard ISS

He will be joined by fellow NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Serena Auñón-Chancellor, as well as Alexander Gerst, of the European Space Agency.

"The fact that we don't have gravity is hard", said Feustel before the match.

"Tennis is one of my favorite games, previously said Feustel".

He said: "The challenge is that anytime we move quickly or have to plant our feet or do something forceful with our bodies, it's truly tough because you can see if I let go of my feet I just start floating".

On Earth, a ball begins to slow down as soon as it bounces off a racket due to air resistance and begins accelerating downwards thanks to gravity.

An American geophysicist and astronaut, Feustel was selected by NASA in 2000, and after two spaceflights in 2009 and 2011, he returned to the cosmos in March as Commander of the International Space Station.

There is no gravity on the ISS, meaning balls behaved totally differently.

"So it's going to be challenging". They will attempt to play the first-ever tennis match in space. He says the crew might have to invent some new rules. But Feustel was well-prepared: He is a lifelong tennis fan, and he got some pre-match tips from professional tennis player Juan M. del Potro, which he described on Twitter.

According to US Open organizers, the idea of staging the interstellar match was aimed at inspiring young tennis players to break limits and "reach for the stars".

Prior to the game, Feustel talked to the 2009 US Open victor Juan Martín del Potro who gave him a few tips regarding the match.

The astronauts dedicated their game to the opening of a major tennis championship the US Open. The game will be shown with the help of technology three-dimensional display projections on the huge Unisphere metal globe, the monument to the world fair in 1965.