The astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) might miss a lot of things on Earth since they've been away for a period of time but who says they can't feel the same excitement as die-hard football fans during the Super Bowl?
ISS astronauts are given the privilege to witness the Super Bowl 50 game between Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos on Feb. 7, real time. NASA's Mission Control based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston will beam the Super Bowl to the ISS so the crew can watch the big game along with football fanatics on Earth.
"Crew will be able to watch in real time; it will be sent up as usual for live events from Mission Control Houston," NASA spokesman Dan Huot said.
"It's a nominal off-duty Sunday for the entire crew, so no additional tasks for them aside from exercise," he added.
Despite missing a lot of activities, ISS astronauts were given the opportunity to witness some worthwhile events on Earth. The crew watched the Super Bowl 49 game in space in 2015. They did not also miss "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" when it was shown across the globe. This is because the ISS is equipped with a High Definition (HD) projector and a 65-inch screen.
Even if they are up there for special scientific reasons and studies, the ISS crew is still allowed to do leisure activities. The crew can request [PDF] mission control to send shows, TV programs or movies they could watch during dinner or when they are off-duty.
Aside from that, they are allowed to bring in books, musical instruments, and their music with them. They can watch movies in their laptops; draw, take photos and other hobbies that they usually do on Earth. With the popularity of social media, they are also allowed to search the web, post photos for their followers to see and post updates about their mission. Phone calls and e-mails are also allowed for the astronauts to reach their family and friends.