Aug 28, 2008

Greatest Space Ads - Part V - Space Golf by Element 21

On the 22nd of November 2006 cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin hit a specially designed golf ball from the International Space Station as part of a promotion for the golf equipment manufacturer Element 21. This CBC news article explains many of the technical challenges and mishaps encountered before and during the stunt.

The price Element 21 paid the Russians to undertake the advertising stunt was not publicly disclosed, but considering the prices paid for other cosmonaut stunts (see our list of Greatest Space Ads below), it could have been over $1 million.

The NASA TV footage of the swing is shown in the video below. The woman's voice is an English translation of the comonauts Russian voices. Also audible on the voice loop is the less than enthusiastic clearance confirmation by the NASA controller "Houston is Rog I guess.."

But this was not the first golf swing in space. Back in 1971 astronaut Alan Shepard hit a number of golf balls on the moon during the Apollo 14 mission. Despite having to use only one arm for the swing due to the limited flexibility of his spacesuit , he was able to hit one of the balls between 180 to 365 meters according to an estimate he made after the event.

Previously in our Greatest Space Ads series:

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