Astronauts Will Play the First-Ever Tennis Match in Space Tonight! Watch It Live

UPDATE: The first tennis match in space is in the record books! Read our full story here: Tennis in Space, Anyone? Astronauts Have a Ball During Historic Match

History is about to be made as astronauts are set to play the first-ever tennis match in space.

Tonight (Aug. 21), NASA astronaut Drew Feustel, commander of Expedition 56 aboard the International Space Station, will attempt to play the first game of tennis in space, with crewmates Ricky Arnold, Serena Auñón-Chancellor (both of NASA) and Alexander Gerst (of the European Space Agency).

In Flushing Meadows Corona Parkin Queens, New York — where the US Open will be held from Aug. 21 to Sept. 9 — the space-based match will be shown through 3D projection mapping on the Unisphere, the large, metal globe that once served as the centerpiece of the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. This will also mark the first time that a video will be projected on the Unisphere.

You can watch the gravity-defying match live online from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EDT on the US Open's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels.

The United States Tennis Association began working with Feustel on this effort in December 2017, and the association hopes this match will inspire young tennis players to take an interest in space exploration, according to a statement emailed to

When Feustel arrived at the space station, he expressed his hope that this historic match would eventually happen. "Tennis is one of my loves," he said earlier this year at a NASA briefing. "Maybe we'll get to play some tennis in space."

Physical fitness is essential for astronauts to stay healthy and fit in the microgravity environment aboard the space station. Astronauts have to exercise for at least 2 hours every day to prevent their muscles and bones from wasting away. So this tennis game is an impressive first, but it also demonstrates an important aspect of life in space.

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Chelsea Gohd
Senior Writer

Chelsea “Foxanne” Gohd joined in 2018 and is now a Senior Writer, writing about everything from climate change to planetary science and human spaceflight in both articles and on-camera in videos. With a degree in Public Health and biological sciences, Chelsea has written and worked for institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, Scientific American, Discover Magazine Blog, Astronomy Magazine and Live Science. When not writing, editing or filming something space-y, Chelsea "Foxanne" Gohd is writing music and performing as Foxanne, even launching a song to space in 2021 with Inspiration4. You can follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd and @foxannemusic.