The Roskosmos astronaut  Oleg Artemyev holds a soccer training on the International Space Station

Official FIFA 2018 World Cup Ball to Return to Earth From Space With ISS Crew

Roskosmos press service
World Cup 2018 Russia
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The ball for the tournament was unveiled during a ceremony in the Russian capital last November, in the presence of prominent football stars Lionel Messi, Zinedine Zidane, Kaká, Xabi Alonso and Alessandro Del Piero.

The ball, called Telstar 18, was taken to the ISS in March by the Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov. It will return to Earth with the crew of the ISS-54/55 expedition and used in the first game of the tournament — Russia versus Saudi Arabia — on June 14.

"An official Telstar 18 ball was brought to the space station for this purpose and it's planned to be returned to Earth with the crew of the Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft on June 3," Roscosmos stated earlier.

Anton Shkaplerov and his counterparts, American Scott Tingle and Japanese Norishige Kanai, are expected to land in Kazakhstan later during the day.

Russia's first-ever FIFA World Cup will take place from June 14 to July 15 in 11 host cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Saransk, Rostov-on-Don, Yekaterinburg, and Sochi.


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