Saturday 10 December 2016

The Manchester United flag has been flying from the International Space Station

Simon Rice

Published 16/10/2015 | 20:03

Manchester United's flag on board the International Space Station Red News / Alexey Yakovlev
Manchester United's flag on board the International Space Station Red News / Alexey Yakovlev

Manchester United fans already think their team is out of this world, but now it's official.

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A flag bearing the club's emblem has been flown from the International Space Station 250 miles above the earth's surface thanks to a dedicated Russian fan who managed to get it on board for an expedition into space.

Alexey Yakovlev, who has supported Manchester United for 15 years, managed to persuade astronaut Steve Swanson to take the flag with him on a trip.

Mr Yakovlev, who met Mr Swanson through his work as an interpretor at Star City near Moscow, explains in an article with fanzine Red News: "I decided to send the MUFC flag to bring some space energy to the club!

"I asked Steve if he was ready to take such a heavy thing up there (85g - they are allowed to take 1.5kg of personal stuff each trip). He had just 1kg to take and he agreed."

The flag was in space for six months and orbited the earth 2,704 times but "came back safe" and Mr Yakovlev revealed that it is due to be presented to Manchester United when they play away against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League next week.

The flag was even given a certificate of authenticity (below) in which it reveals it travelled more than 71 million miles at 17,500mph. 

Mr Yakovlev added: "I am very proud of what I did because United means a lot to me. We’ve waved our flag up in space, lads! What can I say, nobody can make it any higher!"

Independent News Service

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