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Bayern delegation at NASA

Rummenigge: History was made here

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Mission Control, built in 1969, is now a museum. Houston's Johnson Space Center is a place that brings memories back to life. When Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stood among the screens, computers and fittings from another, more innocent age, images of the moon landing 50 years ago immediately shot through his mind. His father woke him up to watch the historical event on television, he revealed. "It’s incredible to stand here now," said the FC Bayern CEO, "it’s an honour for us. History was made here".

Rummenigge led a delegation with board member Jörg Wacker, New York office manager Rudi Vidal, vice president Professor Dieter Mayer, Walter Mennekes and legend Lothar Matthäus. Thiago and Javi Martínez made their tour a little later. Rummenigge presented a specially printed FC Bayern jersey as a gift to commemorate the anniversary of the moon landing. "This event marked a moment in human history when everyone felt united, celebrating the ability to achieve something extraordinary together," said the CEO.

On the guided tour of the vast facility, where 11,000 people work and from where the ISS is currently being monitored 400 km above the earth, Rummenigge and his companions asked former astronaut Hans Schlegel a wide range of questions about space and the universe. With incredulous amazement, they explored a replica of the space station, which is used for training purposes. "And this is where the astronauts sleep?" Rummenigge asked as he surveyed one of the sleeping cells, "it's really hard to imagine how these people can endure months up in space."

Thiago and Javi Martínez also visit NASA

Thiago and Martinez were later taught how to keep fit in space by Bob, who trains astronauts. The two Spaniards thoroughly tested the special machines, which function according to the vacuum principle. Thiago was astonished to learn that the drops of sweat that circle around the head in the weightless state are processed into drinking water. Every astronaut is assigned a personalised workout for his time on a mission, completing two-and-a-half hours of physical activity on six out of seven days. "Some come back fitter than they flew up," joked Schlegel, who was in space twice. Asked by Martínez what the biggest dangers on a space station are, the 68-year-old namedf a leak, fire or toxic accidents.

Finally, the two Bayern stars were allowed to enter the holy of holies: Mission Control of the current ISS mission. As they stood there and surveyed the images of the Earth on oversized monitors, the feeling was that FCB could take off at any time – perhaps to the most distant galaxies.

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