It's official: Super Bowl LII is truly out of this world. That's because even astronauts in space are watching the big game.
NASA astronaut Joe Acaba on the International Space Station posted a photo on Twitter tonight (Feb. 4) showing the big game on the orbiting laboratory's big projection screen, which allows astronauts to watch films and TV shows using a high-definition projector. The only question left is who are the astronauts rooting for in the football championship: The Philadelphia Eagles or the New England Patriots?
"The big screen is up on the @Space_Station, and we are ready for the Big Game," Acaba wrote on Twitter. "Good luck to the @Patriots and @Eagles. #SuperBowl" [How to Tailgate Like an Astronaut]
Acaba is one of six crewmembers of the International Space Station (which coincidentally is the size of a U.S. football field from end to end). Also on board are NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Scott Tingle; Russian cosmonauts Alexander Misurkin and Anton Shkaplerov; and Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai.
Watching the Super Bowl means a really late night for the space station crew, which typically works on a schedule based on Greenwich Mean Time. Tthe kickoff for tonight's game was at 6:30 p.m. EST. That's 2330 GMT, or 11:30 p.m. for the station crew!
This isn't the first time the astronauts have caught a major entertainment event in space. In December, the space station crewmembers watched "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" in space to see the latest adventure from a galaxy far, far away.
Past astronaut crews have also followed the big game from space. In 2017, when the Super Bowl took place in Houston, NASA participated in a whole series of space and football events for the game, including making one of the longest football passes of all time in space (564,664 yards, or 516,328 meters).
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Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.