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NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Steve Swanson and ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst take a break to watch ten minutes of live World Cup matches between science experiments while living and working aboard the International Space Station. / NASA

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Not only elimination from the World Cup but harmony aboard the International Space Station could be at stake in Thursday's match between the United States and Germany.

The orbiting laboratory's six-person crew includes two Americans and a German who plan to sneak peeks at the game during a live uplink late in their workday.

"You better believe we'll be watching," NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman said when the crewmates discussed the game this week in media interviews broadcast on NASA TV. "It's two against one up here, so I think the U.S. chances are pretty good."

Alexander Gerst, a European Space Agency astronaut from Germany, said he has a friendly wager with Wiseman and Expedition 40 commander Steve Swanson.

If the U.S. wins, Swanson and Wiseman can paint an American flag on his bald head. But if Germany prevails, he said the Americans - to their apparent surprise - should shave their heads.

If Gerst does end up wearing stars and stripes, he said he could take some solace in the fact that U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann is a former German soccer star who grew up in the same area he did.

"In a way, even if the U.S. win, it's still a little bit of a victory for Germany then," he reasoned.

The crew wouldn't mind a draw, a result that would allow both teams to advance and potentially meet again in a championship game.

"That would be one game I would love to see," said Swanson.



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Astronauts betting on USA World Cup victory

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