November 24, 2006

There Are No Mulligans In Space

In the stupid-publicity-stunt-gone-bad category, a Russian cosmonaut shanks a six iron shot off the International Space Station.

Hitting golf balls in space, however, was never going to be easy. First there was an hour's delay as his spacesuit overheated and a hatch on the International Space Station got stuck.

Then, with his goldplated six-iron in his hand, he spent more than a quarter of an hour positioning himself for the shot - not easy when half the time he was upside down.

Finally he struck the ball ... and, with almost poetic inevitability, mishit it. It was what golfers call a shank - that awful moment when you hit the ball with the heel of the club and it goes off in some unpredictable direction.

And as is also almost inevitable, the ball appears headed toward that giant water hazard known as Planet Earth:

The Russians, who are being paid an undisclosed sum by golf company Element 21, say the ball - weighing about 1/15th of a normal golf ball - could travel for more than three years, or 460 million miles.

Nasa, which has been forced to take a grin-and-bear-it attitude to the Russians' commercial ventures, was more modest. They said it would travel around Earth for three days before burning up - around 1.26 million miles.

Dumbass. Me, I'd have laid up to the Moon with a wedge or maybe a nine iron, then gone for the money shot.

Posted by Robert at November 24, 2006 05:56 PM | TrackBack

In space no one can hear you scream "Fore!"

Posted by: rbj at November 27, 2006 01:34 PM