Italian astronaut to watch World Cup match from space

SHOWS:

IN SPACE (RECENT) (EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / FIR - FEDERAZIONE ITALIANA RUGBY - MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY 'EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / FIR - FEDERAZIONE ITALIANA RUGBY')

1. ITALIAN ASTRONAUT LUCA PARMITANO SPEAKING INSIDE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION HOLDING RUGBY BALL

2. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ITALIAN ASTRONAUT, LUCA PARMITANO, SAYING:

"Hello everybody this is Luca Parmitano, astronaut of the European Space Agency and commander of the International Space Station with mission Beyond. You are a team and have to work all together to reach your goal, which is that of winning. We too on board the International Space Station are a team, an international team of astronauts working for one goal, which is that of science, technology and space exploration. We too take a lot of exercise, perhaps not as much as you do, but we are very close to your world and want you to know it by saying good luck for the next match, for the World Cup. May the best one (team) win."

3. PARMITANO LETTING RUGBY BALL FLOAT TOWARDS CAMERA

STORY: When Italy take on South Africa in their pivotal Rugby World Cup Pool B encounter in Fukuroi City on Friday (October 4), one particular Azzuri fan will be watching the match with a very unique perspective.

Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano plans to watch the match from the International Space Station (ISS), currently orbiting at 27,000km/hr some 400 kilometres above the earth.

This will be the first time a Rugby World Cup match has been broadcast in space.

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

"May the best one (team) win," 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.

Italy come into their match with two-time champions South Africa off the back of two victories to begin their World Cup campaign.

They are looking to upset the Springboks on Friday and reach the knockout stages for the first time.

(Production: Jack Tarrant)