The International Space Station felt a little more like home for Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano this morning with a live broadcast of the Rugby World Cup. A massive fan of the sport, Parmitano was able to watch his beloved Azzurri in Japan as they faced perennial powerhouse, South Africa.
The broadcast was produced by World Rugby, the sports global governing body and was the first rugby game to be streamed live to a viewer in space.
Prior to the start of the game, Italy led Pool B securing convincing victories over their first two matchups. Captain Sergio Parisse, who became the tournament’s second-most capped player of all time was excited to share their toughest challenge yet with Italians everywhere, including one in space.
“It is the first time that a Rugby World Cup match is being shown in space and we are lucky to have an Italian supporter up there,” said Parisse. “We hope to be able to share the joy with you [Parmitano] and hope to gift you [Parmitano] some beautiful emotions.”
Despite the excitement of getting to see the game from his temporary home aboard the station, Parmitano may have been disheartened with the result. Italy was unceremoniously defeated by South Africa who ran away with the game scoring seven unanswered tries.