NASA astronauts high above Earth are getting into the swing of the World Series.
Jessica Meir, Christina Koch and Drew Morgan played a little baseball aboard the International Space Station (ISS) recently to celebrate the ongoing Fall Classic, which pits the Washington Nationals against the Houston Astros.
In a bit of off-Earth fun that the TV network Fox worked into its World Series coverage, Meir tossed a pitch to Morgan and caught the line drive that he smacked back at her. Koch then grabbed a microphone, turned to the camera and said, "From all of us on the International Space Station, as we prepare to send the first woman and the next man to the surface of the moon, we say, 'We are proud to be from Houston, home of the astronaut corps'"
That corps, of course, is based at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. But Washington has a NASA connection as well; the agency's headquarters are located in our nation's capital.
And Koch's moon comments refer to NASA's Artemis program, which aims to land two astronauts near the lunar south pole by 2024 and establish a long-term, sustainable presence on and around the moon by 2028. NASA has repeatedly said that at least one of the 2024 crewmates will be a woman.
Meir also tweeted out a photo today (Oct. 28) of a baseball floating in the orbiting lab's seven-window Cupola module, with the gorgeous blue Earth in the background.
"This 17,500 mph fastball found its way to the @Space_Station cupola. We hope all are enjoying watching the #WorldSeries action back on Earth!" Meir wrote. (The ISS circles Earth at about 17,500 mph, or 28,160 km/h.)
This 17,500 mph fastball found its way to the @Space_Station cupola. We hope all are enjoying watching the #WorldSeries action back on Earth! pic.twitter.com/5EUq4OLKb6October 28, 2019
Meir and Koch recently completed the first-ever all-female spacewalk. The history-making duo and Morgan make up half of the orbiting lab's current Expedition 61. The other three crewmembers are mission commander Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and Russian cosmonauts Aleksandr Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka.
Washington won the first two games of the World Series, but Houston has stormed back to take the last three. The Astros can close out the best-of-seven series with a win in Game 6 tomorrow night (Oct. 29).
Houston won the World Series in 2017, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games. The Nationals have never won a title, though a previous Washington team, the Senators, took home the hardware in 1924. (The Senators eventually moved, becoming the Minnesota Twins in 1961. A new Washington franchise, also called the Senators, started up that same year. But that team moved as well, becoming the Texas Rangers in 1972. And the current Washington Nationals were once the Montreal Expos, which moved to D.C. in 2005.)
- The 1st All-Woman Spacewalk: Photos, Videos and Celebratory Tweets
- Weightlessness and Its Effect on Astronauts
- Cosmic Quiz: Do You Know the International Space Station?
Mike Wall's book about the search for alien life, "Out There (opens in new tab)" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.