Thursday, November 23, 2006

Longest Golf Shot

It was not Tiger woods who hit the golf's longest shot but is was Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin who shot it from the International Space Station (ISS) at 0057 GMT wednesday.

Hundreds of miles above China, the ball hurtled toward the Pacific Ocean amid varying estimates of its eventual distance.
The US space agency NASA estimates that the ball will descend out of orbit in three to four days, burning up in the Earth's atmosphere. Where as experts at the Russian Roskosmos space agency predict that the ball could stay in orbit for years and travel tens of thousands of kilometres.

The space walk, one of four planned for the current mission, was given added visibility when a Canadian golf equipment manufacturer partnered with Roskosmos to organize the promotion.

Toronto-based Element 21 manufactures golf equipment from scandium, a rare alloy developed in Russia for use in building MiG and Sukhoi fighter jets.

Scandium is also a major component of the construction of the ISS, explained Bill Dey, the company's chief operating officer. He declined to reveal how much the promotion was costing Element 21.

The event was arranged to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the famous Allen Shepard Jr 1971 golf game on the Moon, during the US Apollo 14 space mission.

Element 21 is launching a new product line in February and specially designed the golf club for Tyurin's swing, a gold-plated six-iron.

NASA originally objected to the stunt, worried that a regular golf ball could stay in orbit for several months, gathering speed and causing damage if it hit a satellite or the ISS itself.

The shot was directed away from the orbit of the space station to minimize any risk that it could return as so-called space junk.

The space marketing event was not the first of its kind. Roskosmos, seeking to replace financial support lost after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, has sold seats on its space capsules to space tourists and advertising to companies.

American businessman Dennis Tito reportedly paid 20 million dollars for the first ticket to space in 2001.

In 2000, fast-food chain Pizza Hut affixed a 9-metre logo to the side of a Russian Proton rocket, reportedly paying 1 million dollars. A year later, the company delivered a vacuum-packed pizza to cosmonauts on the ISS.

US-based electronics retailer Radio Shack produced the first paid endorsement from the space station in 2001, when cosmonaut Yuri Usachev read from a script promoting a Father's Day gift sent by his young daughter.

Soft-drink giants Pepsi and Coca Cola, Popular Mechanics magazine and the LEGO toy company have also paid millions to have their products marketed from space.

All of the text is taken from as i don't know the facts of the act

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