SpaceX and Starlink Launched FIFA World Cup Balls to Space and Back [VIDEO]

world cup spacex starlink

In late November we told you about SpaceX and its Starlink demo trailer on the streets of Qatar, at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

At the time, there wasn’t any sort of official announcement on SpaceX and Starlink being at the World Cup, but now we know more about the partnership.

On Monday morning SpaceX said, “Thanks to @FIFAWorldCup and @QatarAirways for entrusting SpaceX and the Starlink team to fly two World Cup balls to space and back!”.

SpaceX then shared a link to this World Cup Starlink website that detailed how the partnership began, first with sending two World Cup soccer balls to space and back.

The video below is titled, “How Starlink, SpaceX and Qatar Airways sent two World Cup balls to space and back.”

Essentially, two World Cup balls flew aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket first stage to space, then landed back on Earth. The balls were then transported on a flight to Qatar in time for the World Cup.

YouTube video

“The Al Rihla, which means “the journey” in Arabic, is the official match ball of the World Cup 2022 in Qatar,” explains SpaceX.

“In an effort to enable a particularly epic journey for this year’s games, the Starlink and SpaceX teams partnered with Qatar Airways to send two World Cup balls to space and back,” said Elon Musk’s company.

The World Cup soccer balls travelled over 1,300 km (808 miles), hit max speeds of 8,272 km/h (5,139 mph) and reached a max altitude of 123 km (76 miles).

The balls first went from Doha, Qatar, to Los Angeles, California. From L.A., they made their way to Cape Canaveral, Florida for the launch. The balls went to space and back, then the Starlink team sent them back on a flight to Qatar, in time for the opening of the 2022 World Cup.

“For those attending the semifinals or finals, stop by our spot on Lusail Boulevard to demo Starlink for yourself,” said SpaceX, sharing one of two photos below: