NASA's AstrOlympics compares athletic performance with cosmic physics

Contributed by
Aug 9, 2016

Essentially we're all just bodies in motion as we dance the universal waltz of physics, some of us more so than others.  The Games of the XXXI Olympiad, AKA Rio 2016, are officially upon us, with the gala opening ceremony from Rio occurring last Friday as nearly 11,000 athletes from 206 countries compete in the world's largest amateur sporting event. To leap into the action and provide some synthesis to the competitors' amazing feats of endurance, speed and strength, NASA is rolling out its own educational version of the games, entitled the AstrOlympics.  This scientific project seeks to compare athletic actions with everyday equivalents, then similar phenomena out in the heavens, using examples from both arenas to better explain concepts like time, mass, speed, distance, pressure and rotation.


The spacy experience was developed by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory communications group to help fuse the myriad physical connections between sports and space. These AstrOlympics posters will be displayed at a number of venues in the United States, Brazil, Venezuela, Uruguay and other countries during the span of the Summer Olympics and beyond.

"The Olympics are an opportunity to behold the limits of human abilities in athletics," NASA officials noted on the AstrOlympics website. "After all, the Olympic motto is Latin for 'faster, higher, stronger.' AstrOlympics enables us to appreciate the feats of the Olympic athletes and then venture far beyond into the outer reaches of space."

Have a look at NASA's interactive site here, then absorb the seven AstrOlympics infographs in the gallery below and tell us if they inspire you to swim the breaststroke, nail your dismount or hurl a javelin.

(Via Space)

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