RECIFE, BRAZIL - For many fans the experience of seeing their team in the World Cup will be out of this world, but for the American and German astronauts aboard the International Space Station it will literally be the case when their teams clash in the tournament.
Americans Reid Wiseman and Steve Swanson and German Alexander Gerst will be watching from 230 miles above the earth when their teams meet in their final Group G game at the Pernambuco arena in Recife on June 26.
The trio featured in a Youtube video posted on the NASA website (www.nasa.gov) encouraging fans around the world to enjoy the spectacle before showing some acrobatic football skills carried out in zero gravity conditions.
"We want to wish all the teams and fans on the ground in Brazil a great World Cup. Have fun and have a peaceful games," said Gerst, decked out in his German national team shirt.
Not to be outdone, fellow astronaut Reid Wiseman had donned a Team USA jersey before imparting a similar message.
"Have fun, play hard and we'll be watching on the International Space Station," he said.
Weisman and Gerst joined the expedition in May of this year, and whoever wins will have bragging rights aboard the space station for the next few months until their scheduled return to earth in November.
Germany open their World Cup campaign against Portugal in Salvador on June 16 before meeting Ghana on June 21 in Fortaleza.
The U.S. will take on Ghana in Natal on June 16 and Portugal on June 22 in Manaus before the showdown against the Germans.