34 Literally Out Of This World Facts About NASA

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1Moon landing

Moon landing

In 1969, NASA possessed the technology to land on the moon but not the technology to fake the moon landings.

2. In 2006, "to understand and protect the home planet" was quietly removed from NASA's mission statement.

3. Quinoa is so nutritionally dense and complete that it is being considered a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned space expeditions.

4. NASA has decided to use Metric Units for all operations on the lunar surface when it returns to the Moon. The Vision for Space Exploration calls for returning astronauts to the Moon by 2020 and eventually setting up a manned lunar outpost.

5. NASA hires a man named George Aldrich to sniff everything that they send to space. If he doesn't like the smell, it doesn't go to space.

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6Gus Grissom

Gus Grissom

The second American in space (Gus Grissom) had hayfever and was almost disqualified from astronaut training until NASA realized the absence of pollen in space.

7. James Irwin, one of the test pilots for the interceptor version of the SR-71 was chosen for Apollo 15 mission to the Moon. He had a heart attack after his moonwalk and the only reason anybody knew was that NASA noticed it on his heart monitor. It was left out of the mission debriefing records.

8. The Super Soaker inventor (Lonnie Johnson) is a Tuskegee-trained NASA engineer who used the money earned from the toy to do research on solar power and batteries.

9. NASA has a list of accurate space technology terms that writers can use in Science Fiction stories.

10. The three-member crew of NASA's Skylab 4 mission staged a one-day mutiny where they shut off all communication with the ground control and spent the day relaxing and looking at the Earth.

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11Go fever

Go fever

Go fever is a term used by NASA to describe a few of their major disasters (Apollo 1/Challenger/Columbia). It describes a culture that develops when costs have mounted, and dissent is suppressed or ignored (due to group members not wanting to be seen as committed to the team's progress).

12. Thad Roberts was a former intern at NASA, who served a 6-year sentence in a federal prison after having sex with his girlfriend on a bed full of stolen moon rocks gathered from the Apollo 11 moon landing mission.

13. NASA no longer has the original recording of the moon landing because it has been recorded over and reused. NASA admitted it back in 2006.

14. For the first Moon landing, the average age of NASA controllers was 26 years old.

15. When you speak inside your mind small muscles in your throat mimic the formation of each word, and NASA is working on a machine (Subvocal speech) that would detect these muscle movements and transcribe them to words.

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16United Nations flag

United Nations flag

During the planning for NASA's moon landings of the 1960s, it was suggested that the United Nations flag be used instead of the U.S. flag.

17. NASA and the JPL has released retro/futuristic artwork, available for free, that illustrate what space exploration might eventually mean to the human race.

18. Stefania Follini is an Italian interior designer recruited by NASA in 1989 for an experiment in Circadian Rhythms, where she spent 4 months in underground isolation proving our bodies naturally fall into 28-hour day, and later on a 48-hour one.

19. A man called Gregory Nemitz claimed ownership of an asteroid (433 Eros) months before NASA landed a probe in it. He then proceeded to issue NASA a $20 parking ticket for landing there.

20. Alligators have been a long-running problem for NASA, including climbing over their fences and entering buildings overnight.



NASA has developed a technology called FINDER used to detect breathing or heartbeats through up to 30 feet of rubble, or 20 feet of solid concrete, and it was used to save lives during the 2015 Nepal earthquakes.

22. When Lodewijk van den Berg designed an experiment for the Space Shuttle, NASA asked for a list of 8 people who could fly in orbit to run it. Adding his own name to finish the list, to van den Ber's amazement he became the first Dutch spaceman despite his age (53) and physical condition.

23. An engineer (Clayton Anderson) at NASA spent 15 years trying to become an astronaut, being rejected 14 times before finally being selected in 1998.

24. In 2008 Speedo, in collaboration with NASA, released a swimsuit so drag-resistant that it was banned from use in swimming competitions for giving swimmers using it too much of an advantage.

25. NASA asked Buzz Aldrin to refrain from quoting the Bible on the moon.

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