This Article is From Feb 09, 2018

Astronauts Compete In First Ever Space Badminton Contest. Everyone Was A Winner

Astronauts from America's NASA, Japan's JAXA and Russia's Roscosmos took part in the interstellar tournament

Astronauts Compete In First Ever Space Badminton Contest. Everyone Was A Winner

Russian astronaut Anton Shkaplerov aboard the International Space Station

While Olympians from world over are gearing up for the Winter Games in South Korea, players from America, Russia and Japan came together for a really important and one-of-its-kind badminton game.

But at a different arena altogether.

The game was played up above in the sky - in space.

The contenders - all astronauts at the International Space Station - were NASA's Joseph Akaba, JAXA's Norishige Kanai and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Misurkin and Anton Shkaplerov who came together for the first ever space badminton tournament.

The ISS crew played a doubles badminton game as part of a project to showcase their life in zero gravity, reported Russia Today. The interstellar tournament saw the astronauts taking on their opponents while handling the challenges of zero gravity. Imagine how hard a smash shot is while drifting weightlessly in space!

Current ISS commander, Russian astronaut Alexander Misurkin said the outer space badminton game was "tantamount to placing a flag on Mars"

While it was the first time a badminton contest was held in space, some challengers came with previous badminton experience - but on earth. Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin is a two-time champion of the "Star Volcano" tournament, traditionally held in Russia's Star City in honor of Cosmonautics Day.

The video of the match, played on January 1, was released on Tuesday by the Russian space agency "Roscosmos" on their YouTube page.

Watch it here:

The teams didn't keep score and everyone was a winner in the 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 announced on Tuesday.

Here's a 360 degree version of the game in case you're interested:

Russian astronaut Anton Shkaplerov, one of the badminton players, in an earlier video demonstrated how to fly a vacuum cleaner in space. The cosmonaut said he was asked by people if it was possible to fly a vacuum cleaner in zero gravity. He posted a video of him successfully riding one on Twitter for his followers.Click for more trending news