Golf takes off in space

A Russian cosmonaut is set to hit a golf ball during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station.

Flight engineer Mikhail Tyurin will knock a lightweight ball off a tee, reports the BBC.

A Canadian golf club maker is paying the Russian space agency an undisclosed sum.

Nasa held up the stunt for months while safety experts made sure the ball would not head back towards the space station.

“I play ice hockey and my understanding is that it is very similar,” said Mr Tyurin, who has been taking many practice swings to brush up his technique.

Mr Tyurin isn’t expected to smack the ball, just tap it. The ball itself weighs just 4.5g instead of the standard-issue 45g ball.

The Russian has to make the shot one-handed because his bulky spacesuit prevents him from bringing his hands together.

Station commander Michael Lopez-Alegria will help set up a camera to film the shot for an upcoming television commercial.

Tyurin’s drive is expected to be one for the record books, though not everyone agrees on how long the ball will fly.

Nasa figures it will fall into Earth’s atmosphere and burn up within three days but Toronto-based club maker Element 21 Golf – which is behind the stunt – is betting on three years.

Source : Ananova

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