[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] - [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

NASA EXTENDS FIRST PITCH TRADITION INTO SPACE



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

Robert Mirelson
Headquarters, Washington            Oct. 18, 2002
(Phone: 202/358-1600)

Kelly Humphries
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

RELEASE: 02-202

NASA EXTENDS FIRST PITCH TRADITION INTO SPACE

     When Chief Umpire Jerry Crawford calls for the 
traditional ceremonial first pitch in the first game of the 
World Series Saturday, the ball will "virtually" travel more 
than 240 miles, all the way from the International Space 
Station (ISS) to Anaheim, Calif. 

NASA astronaut Dr. Peggy Whitson, following a tradition 
started by President William Howard Taft in 1910, will throw 
out the ceremonial first pitch to her battery-mate and ISS 
Expedition Five Commander, Russian cosmonaut Valeri Korzun. 
The fans at Anaheim's Edison Field and millions of television 
viewers will watch the virtual video courtesy of Fox Network 
Sports. 

The ceremonial first pitch of Major League Baseball's 98th 
World Series undoubtedly will be the fastest due to a 17,500-
mile-an-hour head start provided by the International Space 
Station.

Whitson, Expedition Five flight engineer and NASA's 
International Space Station science officer, squared up on a 
pitcher's mound more than 240 miles above the surface of the 
Earth to throw the first pitch. At the opposite end of the 
Destiny Laboratory, "catcher" Korzun called for the "high 
hard one." Flight Engineer Sergei Treschev recorded the 
events on videotape for downlink to Mission Control at NASA's 
Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Floating in microgravity made the wind-up and pitch somewhat 
challenging for the Iowa right-hander, who has been 
conducting scientific research aboard the space station since 
June. Nevertheless, Korzun called Whitson's pitch a strike. 
The Expedition Five crew gave a Space Age "go" for the 
Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants to begin play, with a 
rousing "Play Ball!" 

Whitson and her crewmates are scheduled to return to Earth in 
November. A new crew, led by Commander Ken Bowersox, will 
replace the Expedition Five crew after more than five months 
in space. Bowersox threw out the first pitch for Game 5 of 
the 1995 World Series aboard Space Shuttle Columbia.

The baseball used for the first pitch aboard the ISS was 
autographed by the participants in the 2002 All-Star Game in 
Milwaukee. Astronauts Bob Cabana and Jim Voss accepted the 
baseball, which went through certification testing at Johnson 
Space Center before being carried to the space station aboard 
a Russian Progress resupply vehicle. 

"Linking America's historic pastime with the future, through 
NASA, is a great opportunity to encourage young people to 
exercise their bodies and inspire their minds. NASA and the 
ISS proudly join the long list of Presidents, heroes, 
celebrities and others chosen to participate in a truly great 
American tradition," Whitson said.

For more information about the scientific research and 
construction of the International Space Station, visit the 
NASA Human Spaceflight Web at:
http://spaceflight.nasa.gov

Additional information about NASA and the first pitch is 
available on the Internet at:
http://www.nasa.gov

-end-
.

________________________________________________________________
GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO!
Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less!
Join Juno today!  For your FREE software, visit:
http://dl.www.juno.com/get/web/.
----
Via the sarex mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe sarex" to Majordomo@amsat.org



AMSAT Top AMSAT Home