NASA tests the 2014 World Cup football

(Image Credit: NASA’s Ames Research Center)
(Image Credit: NASA’s Ames Research Center)

The aerodynamics of the official FIFA World Cup 2014 football have been tested at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

The ‘Brazuca’ ball, developed by Adidas, was tested, so that students could fully understand the subject of aerodynamics.

(Image Credit: NASA’s Ames Research Center)

Sports provide a great opportunity to introduce the next generation of researchers to our field of aerodynamics by showing them something they can relate to,” said Rabi Mehta, chief of the Experimental Aero-Physics Branch.

Aerodynamics is the study of how air and liquids flow around an object. Engineers are able to predict how even basic changes in shape can alter flow patterns.

A traditional football has 32 panels but the Brazuca ball only has six. The Brazuca panels increase the seam length and depth, and it is covered in tiny bumps – this all affects the aerodynamics of the ball.

The aerodynamics of the Brazuca ball will lead to greater predictability than past footballs. However, with the ball flying at around 50mph into the goal, who knows what will happen?!

Read more on the NASA testing of the football here.