Usain Bolt, Fastest Human On Earth . . . And Space?

By

CCSS NAS-4 Word Search
Usain Bolt in zero gravity (Photo Credit: Usain Bolt via Twitter)

After breaking numerous records on Earth, retired Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt recently put his legendary speed to test in “space.” The “out-of-this-world” race, staged in a zero gravity environment aboard an airplane designed for scientific research, took place over France on September 13, 2018. It was a publicity stunt organized by champagne maker G.H.Mumm, to showcase a newly-designed bottle, created to make it easier for astronauts and future space tourists to enjoy the beverage while floating through outer space.

Usain Bolt competes against two astronauts (Photo Credit: Usain Bolt via Twitter)

To simulate zero-gravity conditions, the airplane performed parabolic-shaped dives, a maneuver that involves reducing thrust and lowering the nose to maintain a neutral, or “zero lift,” configuration. Often used to train astronauts in zero-g exercises, it provides about 25 seconds of weightlessness out of 65 seconds of flight in each parabola. Though his two competitors were comfortable not being supported by gravity, it was a new sensation for Bolt. He later said, “I was nervous but as soon as the first one [parabola] goes you kind of go, ‘Oh my God,’ what’s happening? But after the third one I was like ‘Yeah’, it’s crazy!”

However, the professional sprinter did not allow nerves to get in the way of his first space race. While Bolt managed to outrun his competitors only slightly in the first lap, he established, and maintained, an impressive lead on the return, leaving no doubt that he is indeed, the fastest man on earth and in space!

New constellations to inspire kids to learn astronomy (Image Credit: birmingham.ac.uk)

Though this was Bolt’s first zero-g experience, it's not his first foray into space. In 2017, the organizers of UK’s Big Bang Fair partnered with scientists from the University of Birmingham Astronomical Society to create a new set of constellations. Designed to inspire kids to “Look Up To The Stars,” they bear close resemblances to modern-day sports, entertainment, and science icons. Among the fun new star formations identified by the astronomers are Harry Potter’s glasses, Serena Williams’ racket, Paddington Bear’s boots and, best of all, Bolt’s signature victory pose!

Resources: Interestingengineering.com, birmingham.ac.uk, itv.com

Generate citations in MLA, APA & Chicago formats for this article.

VocabularyPlay Game

configurationconstellationsforayformationsiconsimpressiveinspirelegendarymaneuverneutralnumerousparabolasensationshowcasesignaturesimulatestuntthrustweightlessness
Name:
Date:

Reading Comprehension (11 questions)

  1. What did Usain Bolt do recently?
  2. Where was the space race held?
Name:
Date:

Critical Thinking Challenge

Why is it important for astronauts to practice being in zero-g...

Name:
Date:

Vocabulary in Context

“To simulate zero-gravity conditions, the airplane performed parabolic-shaped dives, a maneuver that involves reducing thrust and lowering the nose to maintain a neutral or “zero...

1296 Comments
  • ARINDE FNWednesday, April 24, 2019 at 3:55 pm
    soo cooooool
    • NjaTuesday, April 23, 2019 at 5:16 pm
      Wow
      • livi200loveTuesday, April 23, 2019 at 9:46 am
        omg funny
        • theone77
          theone77Sunday, April 21, 2019 at 4:48 pm
          Awesome I want to do that now😎
          • Oaish ESaturday, April 20, 2019 at 2:36 pm
            It is important for astronauts to experience zero g because they will need to go in space with a lot of practice. Now Usain Bolt is the fastest in the solar system. Maybe even the galaxy!
            • caelin
              caelinFriday, April 19, 2019 at 7:15 am
              That's so cool
              • SebastianWednesday, April 17, 2019 at 6:17 pm
                That is cool
                • i love baconWednesday, April 17, 2019 at 7:54 am
                  Yeah that was cool.
                  • Adrienne FordTuesday, April 16, 2019 at 4:45 pm
                    It was so funnie how he was running in the air!
                    • Adrienne FordTuesday, April 16, 2019 at 4:44 pm
                      I love Dogo news so much!