October 3, 2019 / 11:35 AM / 15 days ago

Italian astronaut to watch World Cup match from space

FILE PHOTO: Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano, crew member of the mission to the International Space Station (ISS), waves as he boards prior the launch of Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, July 20, 2019. Dmitri Lovetsky

TOKYO (Reuters) - Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano will be cheering on his team from space when they take on South Africa in their pivotal Rugby World Cup clash.

Parmitano will be watching Friday’s Pool B match from the International Space Station as it orbits some 400 km above the earth.

Italy are looking to upset the Springboks and reach the knockout stages for the first time.

Parmitano, who has been in space since July, had a message for the Italian team.

“You are a team and have to work all together to reach your goal, which is that of winning,” he said in a video posted by the European Space Agency and the Italian Rugby Federation.

It is not the first time Parmitano has broken new ground in space.

In August he became the first person to DJ in space when he played a set from the ISS for a club in Ibiza.

Reporting by Jack Tarrant; Editing by Alison Williams

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