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10 Space & Football Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

There are more connections between space and football than you may have originally thought. Here are a few examples of how…

1. The International Space Station and a football
field are basically the same size

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Yes, that’s
right! The International Space Station measures 357 feet end-to-end. That’s
almost equivalent to the length of a football field including the end zones
(360 feet).

2. It would take over 4,000 footballs to fill the
Orion spacecraft

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Our Orion
spacecraft is being designed to carry astronauts to deep space destinations,
like Mars! It will launch atop the most powerful rocket ever built, the Space Launch System rocket.
If you were to fill the Orion spacecraft with footballs instead of crew
members, you would fit a total of 4,625!

3. Our new Space Launch System rocket is taller
than a football field is long

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We’re
building the most powerful rocket ever, the Space Launch System. At its full
height it will stand 384 feet – 24 feet taller than a football field is long.

4. The crew living on space station will see the
day begin and end…twice…during the Super Bowl

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An average
NFL game lasts more than three hours. Traveling at 7,500 mph, the crew on the
space station will see two sunrises and two sunsets in that time…they see 16
sunrises and sunsets each day!

5. Playing football on Mars would be…lighter

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On Mars, a
football would weigh less than half a pound, while a 200-pund football player
would weigh just about 75 pounds.

6. It would take over 3,000 hours for a football
to reach the moon

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Talk about
going long…if you threw a football to the moon at 60 mph, the average speed of
an NFL pass, it would take 3,982 hours, or 166 days, to get there. The quickest
trip to the moon was the New
Horizons
probe, which zipped pass the moon in just 8 hours 35 minutes on
its way to Pluto 

7. The longest field goal kick in history would’ve
been WAY easier to make on Mars

image

The
longest field goal kick in NFL history is 64 yards. On Mars, at 1/3 the gravity
of Earth, that same field goal, ignoring air resistance, could have been made
from almost two football fields away (192 yards).

8. A quarterback would be able to throw even
further on Mars

image

Aerodynamic
drag doesn’t happen on Mars. With a very thin atmosphere and low gravity to
drag the ball down, a quarterback could throw the football three times as far
as he could on Earth. A receiver would have to be much further down the field
to catch the throw 

9. Football players and astronauts both need to exercise every day

image

Football
players must be quick and powerful, honing the physical skills necessary for
their unique positions. In space, maintaining physical fitness is a top
priority, since astronauts will lose bone and muscle mass if they do not keep
up their strength and conditioning.

10. Clear team communication is important on the
football field AND in space

image

During
football games, calling plays and relaying information from coaches on the
sidelines or in the booth to players on the field is essential. Coaches
communicate directly with quarterbacks and a defensive player between plays
via radio frequencies. They must have a secure and reliable system that keeps
their competitors from listening in and also keeps loud fan excitement from
drowning out what can be heard. Likewise, reliable communication with
astronauts in space and robotic spacecraft exploring far into the solar system
is key to our mission success.

A radio and satellite communications network allows space station crew members to talk to the ground-based team at control centers, and for those centers to send commands to the orbital complex.

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Source: NASA

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10 Space & Football Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

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