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Space and Football

There are more connections between space
and football than you may think!

Did You Know?

  • 4,625 footballs can fit inside the Orion crew module, NASA’s spacecraft for deep space missions with astronauts.
  • Orion traveled a distance of over 26,670,964 football fields when it traveled thousands of miles beyond the Moon during Artemis I.
  • NASA’s powerful Moon rocket, the SLS (Space Launch System), will be 365 feet tall in its future crew configurations – 5 feet taller than a football field is long.
  • An average NFL game lasts more than three hours. Traveling at 17,500 mph, the crew on the space station will see two sunrises and two sunsets in that time (they see 16 sunrises and sunsets each day).
  • It would take just over 195 billion footballs, end-to-end, to reach from Earth to Mars at their closest distances. When Mars is farther away from Earth, it would take 1.4 trillion footballs.
  • On Mars, a football would weigh less than half a pound (only .38 pounds) while a 200-pound football player would weigh just about 75 pounds.
  • If you threw a football to the Moon at 60 mph, the average speed of an NFL pass, it would take 3,982 hours, or 166 days, to get there. The quickest trip to the Moon was the New Horizons probe, which zipped past the Moon in just 8 hours 35 minutes on its way to Pluto.
  • The longest field goal kick in NFL history is 64 yards. On Mars, at ⅓ the gravity of Earth, that same field goal, ignoring air resistance, could have been made from almost two football fields away (192 yards).
  • Aerodynamic drag doesn’t happen on Mars. With a very thin atmosphere and low gravity to drag the ball down, a quarterback could throw the football three times as far as he could on Earth. A receiver would have to be much further down the field to catch the quarterback’s throw.

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