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First Badminton Match Played in Space Between Russia, U.S. and Japan

Roskosmos / Youtube

Gravity appears to be no match for Russian cosmonauts and their American and Japanese counterparts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

The shuttlecock was seen zooming back and forth a spacious ISS module, in a match between a duo consisting of a Russian cosmonaut and American astronaut and a duo of a Japanese astronaut and Russian cosmonaut in what was declared the “first space badminton tournament.”

“The score wasn’t kept in the first match, so all athletes can be named the winners of the first historic match,” the National Badminton Federation of Russia (NBFR) said on Tuesday.

Alexander Misurkin, the captain of the current ISS expedition, announced that the tournament took place on Jan. 1 in a video carried by the Kremlin-run RT network’s YouTube page.

“The first team game was held outside Earth and, for me, it’s the same as putting a flag on Mars,” he said in the video published on Tuesday.

The NBFR holds an annual competition at the cosmonauts’ training center outside Moscow known as Star City, where the Russian cosmonauts appear to be perennial victors.

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei recommended for future space crews to bring a separate module for badminton, Russia’s federal space agency Roscosmos cited him as saying.

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