Feb. 6, 2018
The first ever space badminton tournament took place at the International Space Station on the Earth orbit. Cosmonauts Alexander Misurkin (Roskosmos), Anton Shkaplerov (Roskosmos), astronauts Joseph Acaba (NASA), Mark Vande Hei (NASA), Norishige Kanai (JAXA) played in it.
The matches were played in the men's doubles, but according to specific space rules. The score in the first match was not conducted, so all the athletes can be considered the winners of the first historic match.
We would like to mention that a number of players of the orbital match have already taken part in competitions on the ground - Alexander Misurkin is a two-time champion of the "Star Shuttle" tournament, traditionally held in the Zvyozdniy Town in honor of the Cosmonautics Day.
See much more about the first space badminton tournament here
Same as to put a flag on the Mars
Mark Vande Hai took part in the rematch of the "Star Challenge Cup" - a match of Roscosmos cosmonauts via NASA astronauts.
Commander of the 54th expedition to the ISS Alexander Misurkin:
- The first team match was held outside our planet. And for me, it's the same, as to put a flag on the Mars. You ask why badminton? Well, because, I love it. Despite the fact that I started late and did not achieve any special results, it's generally not important, because badminton for me is not a sport, and not even a hobby.
Tickets for 2018 European Men’s & Women’s Team Championships
- Badminton is a lifestyle. It unites, improves health, including eyesight, develops physically, boosters tone, allows you to look better, gives you the opportunity to have a good time - and much more. 7 billion people live on our planet and every seventh person plays badminton. Maybe it's time for us as well? See you on the badminton court!
Misurkin – the moving force
Andrey Antropov, the Chairman of National badminton federation of Russia: We welcome the first space tournament Badminton has always been connected with manned space exploration, beginning from the first space crew. It is well known that both Gagarin and Titov played badminton, but always on the Earth.
And now, so many years later, badminton has reached space! Of course, Alexander Misurkin was the moving force of the project. He is the record holder of the gold medals in men's singles in "Space Shuttle", also he holds the record of long-lasting visit to the outer space. Alexander said it many interviews that badminton helps those who works outside the station. We hope it helped him in his recent space exit.
We would like to mention that Alexander was one of the founders and the unconditional engine of the "Badminton Federation of the Orel region" - it was created in the homeland of the cosmonaut in many ways on his initiative. "Badminton Federation of Orel" was admitted to the National Badminton Federation of Russia in November 2017, when the cosmonaut himself was already on the ISS.
See also: The new national champions have been crowned
And of course, we are grateful to all the cosmonauts-badminton players, who took part in the match, and those who worked on the project and did their best for it to become generally known. "Roscosmos" and "Russia Today" helped a lot. We have a long history of friendship with "Roscosmos", we organize company badminton tournament. We thank TV company "Russia Today" for the constant support of our projects and badminton generally. The company's specialists created a wonderful video clip about the space match, available in format 360, which gives live effect.