The Shuttlecock that Travelled 78 Million Miles before Landing on the Ground

Written by Geoff Hinder

The Shuttlecock that Travelled 78 Million Miles before Landing on the Ground

The International Space Station Shuttlecock with old battledores and shuttlecocks in the North Hall, Badminton House.

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Photo: – Geoff Hinder.

During March 2019 four Badminton history enthusiasts from France visited the National Badminton Museum in Milton Keynes, bringing with them the International Space Station shuttlecock. The shuttlecock was taken on the International Space Station by the French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, a native of the Dieppe region. His mission started on November 16th 2016 and finished on June 2nd 2017. He spent 196 days, 17 hours and 50 minutes in space, for 3136 rotations around the Earth (travelling more than 78 million miles). During the mission he tested the flight of the shuttlecock in the International Space Station’s weightless conditions. The shuttlecock belongs to the Toulouse Space Centre and was lent by courtesy of the head of the Proxima project, Mr Sébastien Barde.
Outside of the North Hall at Badminton House are Jean-Paul Didier, Jean-Jacques Bergeret, Micheline Richebois and Bruno Lafitte from the French National Archives Commission with the International Space Station shuttlecock.

Click on image to enlarge

Photo: – Geoff Hinder.

Bruno Lafitte, Jean-Jacques Bergeret, Jean-Paul Didier and Micheline Richebois from the French National Archives Commission then took the shuttlecock to the Yonex All-England Badminton Championships where it was exhibited on the National Badminton Museum display stand. The shuttlecock then travelled to Badminton House in Gloucestershire where the shuttlecock was photographed with some of the very old battledores and shuttlecocks in the North Hall of Badminton House where the game was invented.

The French astronaut Thomas Pesquet testing the flight of the shuttlecock in the International Space Station’s weightless conditions.

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