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

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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

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1401 Comments
  • bsc
    bscFriday, September 25, 2020 at 3:39 pm
    That's awesome! I love the new constellations for kids!
    • leiker1414
      leiker1414Monday, July 6, 2020 at 3:04 pm
      It look like he is so so fast in the 2× put it in the 2× XD
      • leiker1414
        leiker1414Monday, July 6, 2020 at 3:02 pm
        It funny in slow motion
        • leiker1414
          leiker1414Monday, July 6, 2020 at 2:53 pm
          I wanna go up to space one day.
          • blacklives
            blacklivesSaturday, June 27, 2020 at 10:04 pm
            But they are really cool😎😎
            • blacklives
              blacklivesSaturday, June 27, 2020 at 10:04 pm
              They are all winners...so good and fast😔
              • roadmaster10985
                roadmaster10985Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 9:59 am
                Funny in slow motion
                • lovebooks123
                  lovebooks123Saturday, June 6, 2020 at 10:36 am
                  I guess he is fast in earth and in space
                  • gothik
                    gothikTuesday, April 28, 2020 at 11:51 am
                    i want to float
                    • lolipoperz
                      lolipoperzTuesday, April 21, 2020 at 9:25 am
                      Fast! Very cool!😯