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article imageAstronaut sets record, throws football more than 500,000 yards

By Arthur Weinreb     Feb 6, 2017 in Science
Houston - It was “sort of a record” and there are a lot of “buts” associated with it. The ball was thrown by Astronaut Tim Kopra while orbiting the Earth on the ISS and it travelled 564,664 yards. The distance was measured relative to the Earth.
NASA called it “the longest Hail Mary pass ever.” The video was shot prior to Kopra leaving the ISS last June but NASA released it on Saturday, one day before Super Bowl LI.
The length of the space station is about 80 yards so NASA came up with some number-fudging to get to the reported length of the throw. The ISS orbits the Earth at the speed of 17,500 m.p.h. Because of this fact, the ball travelled 8,800 yards per second resulting in the ball covering a distance of more than 564,000 yards. But the speed and distance the football travelled were measured relative to the Earth and, of course the lack of gravity helped.
Not everyone was amused at NASA’S calculations. Mashable reports a couple of people commented the space agency should not be using mixed relevant relativity although one added it was more fun than an ordinary scientific experiment.
To put the throw in perspective, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 4,944 yards during the 2016 season. He threw 38 touchdown passes and helped the Falcons score 540 points, the highest in the NFL. All this led to Ryan being named the NFL MVP of the year. But the 4,944 yards were less than one-tenth of what Kopra accomplished with one throw.
Astronauts Scott Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson aboard the ISS
Astronauts Scott Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson aboard the ISS
Super Bowl LI was played in Houston, home of the Johnson Space Centre, NASA was involved with the festivities surrounding the game. And astronauts currently aboard the ISS spoke to the media about the upcoming game. Astronaut Shane Kimbraugh, an Atlanta native, predicted the Falcons would win. And although Astronaut Peggy Whitson refused to make a prediction, she posed for a picture holding a football and wearing a New England Patriots jersey.
The astronauts aboard the space station had the opportunity to watch the game yesterday.
It is the consensus of opinion that Kopra’s throw will never make it into the record books because of the way the speed an distance was measured. And Kopra’s throw will definitely not make it into the Guinness World Records book because, well, the throw did not take place in the "world." But as put it, this gives a whole new meaning to the expression, "Go deep."
More about Iss, International Space Station, Astronauts, super bowl LI, NASA
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