World Cup on ISS: U.S. vs. German astronauts on goal celebrations, wagers

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The International Space Station has caught World Cup Fever, with U.S. astronauts making a wager with a German astronaut on the recently concluded match between the two countries. 
( Reid Wiseman / Twitter )

The World Cup soccer tournament has always brought excitement to all parts of the world. However, this year, it looks like World Cup fever has burst out of our planet, reaching the infinite darkness of space.

On the International Space Station, NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman and Steve Swanson and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst have been following the World Cup, as the team requested NASA to send feeds of the televised games up to space.

Wiseman, Swanson and Gerst have undergone years of training to work together as a crew on the International Space Station. However, the recently concluded match between the United States and Germany in the World Cup pitted the two Americans against the lone German in friendly competition.

In an interview with ESPN last June 24, Wiseman joked that the two-to-one advantage up in space between the team of astronauts means that the U.S. team will also have an advantage on the field when it takes on Germany.

“I believe we will win. It’s two against one up here, so I think the U.S. chances are pretty good,” Wiseman said.

Before the match between the two countries, the astronauts performed some extravagant goal celebrations in the International Space Station. In addition, a friendly wager was made between them.

“If the U.S. wins, these guys are going to draw a little U.S. flag on my head, but I think if Germany wins these guys should have to shave their heads. Either way I’m looking forward to the game. It’s going to be fun,” Gerst said.

The United States team lost to Germany with a score of 0-1. While the U.S. team will still advance to the next round of the World Cup despite the loss due to a better record than the other teams in their group, Wiseman made good on the wager by agreeing to have his hair shaven off, as evidenced by a picture that he posted on his Twitter account.

Both Wiseman and Gerst arrived at the International Space Station on May 28 as members of the Expedition 40/41 team. The pair will spend the next several months in space until their return to Earth later this year in November. Swanson, on the other hand, arrived as a member of the Expedition 39/40 team on March 25, with a return to Earth earlier than the two in September.

Twitter recently brought back its hashflags for the World Cup, which are hashtags with flag emoticons for the participating countries.

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