Moon Football by 2035

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The IET is predicting lunar football matches to be possible by 2035

An Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) panel has created the first Lunar Football Rule Book

Football may be the most popular game on the planet, but now engineering and technology experts are predicting that the first match on the Moon could take place as early as 2035, based on developments from the ‘big three’ space faring nations.

The panel of STEM experts has also created the first-ever Lunar Football Rule Book, to adapt the beautiful game to the vastly different conditions players can expect, including harsh, dusty terrain, zero oxygen and potentially fatal risks of collision. The IET’s predictions and rule development of Lunar Football aim to excite and educate children on what STEM careers can look like and inspire a generation of budding engineers and technologists.

With just one-sixth of the gravity of Earth and no wind or air resistance, the ball will behave completely differently. A kicked ball travels at the same speed as on Earth – at approximately 70mph – but will travel roughly six times further – meaning a return to the long-ball game of the 1980s rather than Pep Guardiola’s tiki-taka.

Instead of a standard kit, players will require a flexible airtight suit which is slightly slimmed down, with in-built padding for knees and elbows. Each suit will require a cooling and heating system adjustable to the temperature of the lunar climate, with flannel in the seat to absorb sweat. Helmets must be designed to enable communication between players and coaches, with a 180 to 270-degree view, as well as a Heads-Up Display in the visor to deliver referee decisions, player suit status and their positions and red and yellow cards.

To ensure safety and avoid collisions, Lunar Football will be five-a-side, strictly no contact sport, with possession of the ball gained solely through interceptions. Slide tackles or headers are not permitted to avoid damage to players’ suits and helmets.

These are just some of the many rules and peculiarities of the game when adapted for lunar matches and with the first football match predicted to be just a generation away in 2035, the IET is calling on children across the UK aged 4-13 to design the first official Moon Utd football kit in time for the kick-off for its Engineer a Better World initiative.

Jonathan Newell
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