Russian cosmonauts are hoping to hit a golf ball into Earth’s orbit from the International Space Station, setting a record for the longest drive ever made. If Nasa gives the go-ahead, the attempt will take place during one of three spacewalks planned for 2006.
The ball will be hit with a gold-plated golf club, made of the same scandium alloy used to build the station, and is expected to orbit Earth for four years.
Some experts warn a mishap could cause “catastrophic” damage to the station.
The ball is expected to travel millions of miles – its progress tracked using global positioning transmitters as it gradually loses altitude through atmospheric drag.
“It will come back through the atmosphere, heat up, melt away and never be seen again,” said Bill Alior, director of the Center for Orbital and Re-entry Debris Studies in the US.?