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


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:

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!


Get the Workbook for this article!

Workbook contains: Article, Reading Comprehension, Critical Thinking Questions, Vocabulary in Context (+ answers), Multiple Choice Quiz (+ answers), Parts of Speech Quiz (+ answers), Vocabulary Game (+ answers)
Cite Article
  • dominicanito617
    dominicanito617Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 12:41 pm
    • augy
      augyMonday, April 6, 2020 at 3:06 pm
      awsome also there is no way that cobrakids faster than usane bolt
      • cobrakids
        cobrakidsSunday, April 5, 2020 at 1:11 pm
        I’m way faster than him I got a 6:34 on my mile run 🏃
        • cobrakid
          cobrakidSunday, April 5, 2020 at 10:36 am
          Maybe it's his last name that makes him so fast?
          • demiguise
            demiguiseTuesday, March 31, 2020 at 9:31 am
            I WANT TO DO THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
            • freddy_fazbears
              freddy_fazbearsMonday, March 30, 2020 at 11:52 am
              ok prove it pls and i'll come to possibly beat you because gotta go fast
              • meata
                meataFriday, March 27, 2020 at 8:08 am
                I’d do that any day
                • purpledoggie810
                  purpledoggie810Monday, March 16, 2020 at 1:29 pm
                  I wish I could go zero-g
                  • aubre
                    aubreFriday, March 13, 2020 at 9:56 am
                    its funny when you change the speed
                    • fondy
                      fondyThursday, February 27, 2020 at 12:51 pm