Moscow: Badminton is the reputed fastest sport in the world. A shuttlecock, struck by one of the top players in the world with a modern racquet, can travel up to 200 mph.
Malaysia’s Tan Boon Heong clocked an astonishing speed of 493 km/h or 306 mph through smashing a shuttlecock during a special experiment.
The fastest badminton hit in a competition was achieved by Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, when he hit a 417km/h powerful shot during the 2017 Japan Open final.
Now, let’s change the venue of a badminton tournament from earth to the space with zero-gravity. It’s going to be hard to imagine how fast the shuttlecock can move and how easy to control and maneuver the badminton racket.
On Tuesday, the Russian government space agency — released a video of crew members aboarded the International Space Station, where astronauts from different countries including Alexander Misurkin (Roskosmos – Russia), Anton Shkaplerov (Roskosmos – Russia), astronauts Joseph Acaba (NASA – USA), Mark Vande Hei (NASA – USA), Norishige Kanai (JAXA – Japan) were playing a historic men’s doubles badminton match in low Earth orbit.
From the video below, it may seem funny how those astronauts play badminton in space, but, this was an important activity for them. While on earth, the gravity pulls down human muscles, and gives those muscles a small but important workout which astronauts don’t have in a zero-gravity environment.
Therefore, astronauts must stay active in space and flying in the zero-gravity flight deck to hit the badminton shuttlecock help them keep their muscles moving.
Although the final scores of the tournaments were never announced, but the National Badminton Federation of Russia however said that few of the players in the space badminton match have already taken part in competitions on the ground.