When Frenchman Thomas Pesquet saw his beloved national soccer team score two goals against Portugal in the Euros yesterday, he was probably the only fan who didn’t celebrate by jumping up and down. Because it’s hard to do that when you’re in space.
Pesquet has been living and working on board the International Space Station (ISS) since April along with six other crew members.
Although ISS astronauts spend much of their time working during their mission — Pesquet himself completed two spacewalks last week to upgrade the station’s power supply and has another one on Friday — they also have time to wind down and relax.
It was during one of his breaks that the French astronaut watched his country take on Portugal in the team’s final group clash before the knockout stages of the Euros competition.
Pesquet tweeted a photo (below) of himself floating in microgravity while watching the game on a large display. And no, the astronaut didn’t bring a huge television set with him when he traveled to the space station as part of NASA and SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission a few months ago. Instead, he used a projector to beam the pictures onto a 65-inch rollable screen that arrived at the space station in 2015.
Watching #FRA #POR. We 🟦🐓 didn't have the easiest group to play in this edition of the #EURO2020 but that only makes the matches more interesting! https://t.co/MsWFm7uq2l pic.twitter.com/DfEGM1mKu8
— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) June 23, 2021
In recent years, American astronauts on the orbiting outpost have also been able to enjoy live coverage of the Super Bowl.
Speaking to The Atlantic a couple of years ago about how ISS astronauts get to enjoy video content while orbiting Earth 250 miles up, a NASA spokesperson explained: “Space-station crew members request whatever programming they would like to see, and Mission Control arranges for those television shows to be uplinked to them on their [laptops]. The connection is quick. Essentially the delay is not any different than the TV broadcast in your house.”
For more insight on how astronauts work, rest, and play on the International Space Station, take a look at this collection of videos showing everyday life on the ISS, from making coffee and exercising to getting a haircut and using the bathroom.
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