Astronauts Kick Off World Cup With Their Own Soccer Game

PHOTO: Astronauts Steve Swanson, left, Reid Wiseman, right, and German astronaut Alexander Gerst, center, kick around a soccer ball some 230 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station.
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Few athletes get the chance to play soccer at the World Cup, but even fewer get a chance to play the game in outer-space.

That's what astronauts Reid Wiseman, Steve Swanson and Alexander Gerst did in a video NASA posted on Instagram today to celebrate the first day of the competition.

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"As fans around the world tune in to World Cup 2014, a few fans out of this world will be watching, too," NASA wrote.

The clip shows the astronauts punting the ball around the International Space Station -- some 230 miles above Earth.

Coincidentally, the space station spans about the same length as a soccer field, NASA said.

NASA noted that Wiseman and Swanson, both American astronauts, and Gerst, who's from Germany, "are feeling a little friendly competition: their home countries will play against each other for a chance to advance out of Group G of the World Cup matches."

That game is on June 26.

For now, the astronauts wish all the teams and players good luck.

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