HOUSTON (Reuters) - Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin hit a golf ball into Earth's orbit from the International Space Station on Wednesday to raise money for the Russian space program at the start of a six-hour spacewalk.
Tyurin, the station's flight engineer, made a one-armed swat with a gold-plated six-iron to send the lightweight ball on a journey estimated to take it around the Earth at least 48 times before it burns up in the atmosphere. (来源：专业英语学习网站 http://www.EnglishCN.com)
He spent 16 minutes setting up the shot off a ladder on a Russian docking module with the help of U.S. astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria under the guidance of Russian flight controllers.
"OK, there it goes," said Tyurin, who has played golf twice in his life. "It went pretty far. It was an excellent shot."
Canadian golf club maker Element 21 Golf Co. paid the cash-strapped Russian space agency an undisclosed amount of money for Tyruin's golf demonstration, which was filmed by a video camera.
NASA, the American space agency, is prevented by law from receiving money for its involvement.
Element 21 will use the video in a future commercial and contends the golf ball will orbit for three and a half years, rather than the three days estimated by NASA.
NASA delayed the golf shot for months checking that the ball would not threaten the safety of the space station or future space shuttle missions.
Tyurin's tee-time was delayed for nearly two hours as a kinked cooling line to his spacesuit prevented the astronauts from leaving the station, which is circling the Earth every 90 minutes, while it was in sunlight needed for filming.
After the golf exhibition, Tyurin and Lopez-Alegria, the station commander, then began to deploy an instrument that will measure particles in low-Earth orbit during solar flares.
The astronauts are also scheduled to relocate a communications antenna that will guide the European Automated Transfer Vehicle to the station next year and to check the antenna on a supply vehicle.