50 Interesting Facts about NASA

26Thad Roberts

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.

27. 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.

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

29. 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.

30. 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.

31Visions of the future

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

32. 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.

33. 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.

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

35. 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.

36Lodewijk van den Berg

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.

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

38. 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.

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

40. In 1962, a programmer omitted a single hyphen in the code for the Mariner I rocket, causing it to explode shortly after take off. This typo cost NASA the equivalent of $630 million today.

41TLC network

The TLC network (Home of Honey Boo Boo, The Duggars, Little People, Sarah Palin's Alaska, etc) was originally created by NASA and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to provide "real education through the medium of television".

42. Neil Armstrong's NASA application was a week late. If it weren't for his friend, Dick Day, secretly slipping it into the pile, he would have been rejected.

43. Some people still believe that the earth is flat, and that earth is a disc encased by Antarctica and a 150-foot wall of ice at the edge, guarded by NASA employed security guards.

44. The body of an astronaut (Laurel Clark) killed in the Columbia disaster was found to have been looted and her wedding ring stolen. Plans by Texas Rangers and her widower to find the thief by informing the public were allegedly suppressed because ", it would not be good publicity for NASA."

45. NASA have their own special agents who are armed, have arrest authority and can execute search warrants.

46Jim Leblanc

NASA had an accident while testing spacesuits for the Apollo moon missions, and caught it on camera. The test subject (Jim Leblanc) was accidentally depressurized while in a vacuum chamber, and lost consciousness and experienced his own spit boiling. The team took nearly a minute to save him from the chamber.

47. NASA conducted a nap study on their pilots. They found that naps provided 34% increase in pilot performance and 100% increase in physiological alertness.

48. In 1973, NASA sent two spiders known as Arabella and Anita into space to see if they could spin a web without gravity. It took the spiders a couple days to figure it out, but they eventually ended up making webs that were finer and more complex than their earth counterparts.

49. In 2009, Stephen Colbert won a NASA competition to have a module of the ISS named after him, but NASA opted to name it ‘Tranquility’ instead. They did, however, name a treadmill on the ISS after him. It is called the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (C.O.L.B.E.R.T.).

50. NASA has its own radio station called 'Third Rock Radio' which plays Rock/Indie/Alternative music with NASA news items and mission updates embedded throughout.

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