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Space & Astronomy

Astronaut throws a football 564,664 yards

By T.K. Randall
February 5, 2017 · Comment icon 5 comments

How far did he really throw the ball ? Image Credit: NASA Johnson Space Center
Astronaut Tim Kopra made the record-breaking pass aboard the space station to mark the 2017 Super Bowl.
While the throw was certainly impressive from a technical point of view, the ball didn't actually travel quite as far as the figures suggest - at least, that is, from the perspective of the astronauts.

The International Space Station itself is orbiting the planet at around 17,500 mph, which means that the ball, which was thrown from one end to the other, was traveling at 8,800 yards per second relative to someone standing on the surface of the Earth.

So while the ball really did travel 564,664 yards through space, it was only actually thrown around 80 yards relative to Tim Kopra and the other astronauts aboard the station.

A video of the throw, as well as a more in-depth explanation, can be viewed below.



Source: Space.com | Comments (5)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Eldorado 7 years ago
Nobody received it so how is it a pass?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year 7 years ago
Incomplete pass. lol It's now 3rd and long.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Noxasa 7 years ago
Nice spiral and aim. To be fair, the Earth's surface also rotates around its core at around 500 yards per second (1040 mph.) So the longest terrestrial pass is around 2000 yards (4 seconds.) The Earth rotates around the sun at around 32,500 yards per second so the longest pass in reference to the sun is around 130,000 yards. The sun rotates around the galactic core at around 252,000 yards per second so the longest pass in our galaxy is around 1 million yards. And our galaxy expands away from the furthest measurable galaxies at near the speed of light (327 million yards per second) which means.... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by taniwha 7 years ago
And don't forget.... precisely when he threw it, it just so happened to be the furthest moment in time away from the beginning of the universe that anyone, anywhere, had ever thrown anything before... ever...
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin 7 years ago
Yeah, I get the "relativity" thing. So, instead of that, have a space walker outside the ISS throw the football. Uh... Forget about a wide receiver. Anyway, that football would travel (depending on direction of throw) a VERY long way.


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