The Soccer Ball that went to Space TWICE — Tidbits

The Soccer Ball that went to Space TWICE — Tidbits

At the moment there’s a soccer ball much like
this one up on the International Space Station. That may not be particularly impressive, given
that the Station also has ping pong, playing cards and an exercise bike, but this ball
is special: last time it was sent into space, it was part of the Challenger shuttle disaster. Challenger’s mission in 1986 was pretty
routine: deploy a satellite, test out a new tool for astronomy, and teach some school
lessons from space. During the ill-fated ascent, the spacecraft
broke up, killing all seven crew members. This was to be Ellison Onizuka’s second
spaceflight, performing the role of Mission Specialist. During dives amongst the wreckage of the space
shuttle, several crew items were recovered. Amongst these, several of Onizuka’s personal
items, including a football, an American flag and the soccer ball were found. The ball was returned to his family, who later
donated it to Clear Lake High School, where his daughter played soccer. Fast forward to this year, when another Clear
Lake High graduate, Robert Kimbrough joined the crew of the International Space Station. The school donated the ball to make another
trip to space, and on 3 February 2017, 31 years after originally scheduled, this special
soccer ball finally made it to space: a reminder of the costs of spaceflight, and the tremendous
hurdles we’ve overcome, as we reach to the stars. NASA publishes a list of all media that’s
available on the space station for astronauts during their downtime. What’s particularly interesting about this
is it there’s only 3 Harry Potter films: The Philosopher’s Stone, the Chamber of Secrets,
and the Prisoner of Azkaban. My only guess is that the astronauts were
a fan of Harry Potter and had to come home before they could finish the series.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *