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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1350 Comments
  • AmazmentThursday, September 12, 2019 at 1:12 pm
    THat was awsome but I wonder what it is like to be in zero gravity I thing its like swimming
    • WonderSaturday, September 7, 2019 at 3:42 pm
      Wow! I wish I were him.
      • wowThursday, September 5, 2019 at 6:32 am
        No way this is cool
        • MBISWednesday, July 24, 2019 at 3:25 pm
          no way this is so cool
          • yoooooWednesday, July 17, 2019 at 12:28 pm
            no way!
            • queenunicorn
              queenunicornMonday, July 8, 2019 at 9:25 am
              How could he do it?
              • christianWednesday, June 19, 2019 at 5:51 am
                he is savage
                • Usain BoltFriday, June 14, 2019 at 12:56 pm
                  Usain Bolt is faster than your average medium car!
                  • BOTThursday, June 6, 2019 at 4:08 pm
                    I would love to do that
                    • Random PersonThursday, June 6, 2019 at 4:01 pm
                      It looks wierd and fun at the same time