There has always been a link between the space race and golf. Perhaps because they both use scientific techniques to do something which up to now has been a bit useless*. So it is good to see that a Russian cosmonaut is going to punt a golf ball into orbit for a few billion miles – possibly taking out the Astra satellite and people watching Soccer AM in the process.

This is a funxperiment. An experiment which does nothing to further the cause of science but is a bit of a giggle. We used to do them at the end of term in Chemistry. Blowing up crucibles, glassblowing and the classic – sodium in the bath. There was science to be learned, but they were genuinely fun to do and we didn’t have to write them up. It is good to see that this funxperiment is actually a stunt for a golf club manufacturer, probably trying to say that their clubs hit further than any others. Of course lack of atmosphere and geostationary** orbit does seem to be cheating, but advertising standards being what they are.

*Yes, yes, I know non-stick frying pans. To which I respond, use enough oil, don’t burn stuff, and then clean it.

**Point made by Alan at the weekend regarding the episode of Doctor Who, with the planet in geostationary orbit around a black hole. Whereabouts in the black hole is the geo to be stationary around?