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Strange Facts About Space - NASA - And The Universe!


-People on the International Space Station are not in 0 gravity. In fact, the gravity there is pretty strong, almost as strong as on surface of Earth. Instead, they are experiencing 0 gravity because they are in a state of perpetual fall. The station has a large tangential component and keeps missing the ground as it travels so quickly sideways too.

-During the moon landing, a mirror was left on the Moon's surface to reflect a laser beam which measured the Moon's distance from the Earth with amazing accuracy.

-A space suit costs US$12 million. Most of this is for the backpack and the control module.

-The middle layers of space suits are blown up like a balloon to press against the astronaut's body. Without this pressure, the astronaut's body would boil.

-A 1997 poll revealed that Americans thought NASA's funding accounted for 20% of the federal budget. In fact, NASA has received one per cent or less since 1975. Currently its $.005 cents per dollar.

-There is a water reservoir floating in space that is equivalent to 140 trillion times all the water in the world's ocean.

-The Drake Equation was proposed by astronomer Frank Drake to work out how many civilizations there could be in our galaxy - and the figure is in millions.

-At US$150 billion, the International Space Station is the most expensive object ever built. It is about the size of a football field.

-The Milky Way galaxy is whirling rapidly, spinning our sun and all its other stars at around 100 million km/h.

-Inside an astronaut's helmet, there is a Velcro patch that serves as a scratcher.

-The Sun travels around the galaxy once every 200 million years - a journey of 100,000 light years.

-Astronauts in space can't tell if their bladders are full. They are trained to relieve themselves every two hours.

-NASA has been known to shows the 1998 film Armageddon as part of its management training program. Employees are then asked to identify as many scientific inaccuracies as they can. There are at least 168 of them.

-Astronauts have hauled back 380 kilograms of Moon rock.

-NASA scientists have discovered stars that are cool enough to touch.

-The red colour of Mars is due to oxidized (rusted) iron in its soil.

-In 1962, the U.S. blew up a hydrogen bomb in space that was 100 times more powerful than Hiroshima.

-NASA can let you know whenever the ISS passes you're your house. Here.

-Launched by NASA in 1977, Voyager 2 has flown over 16 billion kilometers and is heading out of the solar system after passing close to Neptune in 1989. It continues to send data home.

-Astronauts on the International Space Station witness around 15 sunrises and 15 sunsets every day.

-Planets have magnetic field around them because of the liquid iron in their cores. As the planets rotate, so the iron swirls, generating electric currents that create the magnetic field.

-The third country in space, after The U.S. and the USSR, was Canada, which was considered to have the most advanced space program in 1962.

-The swirling gases around a black hole turn it into an electrical generator, making it spout jets of electricity billions of kilometers out into space. Please stand back.

-A sample of Sir Isaac Newton's apple tree was sent into space to 'defy gravity.'

-A NASA intern was jailed for 7 years after having sex with his girlfriend on a bed full of stolen moon rocks.

-Thanks to powerful telescopes, astronomers can see galaxies up to 2 billion light years away. This means we see them as they were when the only life forms in Earth were bacteria.

-In 1977, we received a signal from deep space that lasted 72 seconds. We still don't know how or where it came from.

-Winds swirl around Saturn's equator reaching up to 1100 km/h and they never stop.

-The International Space Station is as roomy as a five-bedroom house and travels at 17,500 mph.

-Earth's atmosphere was formed from the gases pumped out by volcanoes.

-Most astronauts become two inches taller in space.

-The constellation of Cygnus contains the biggest star in the known universe - a hypergiant which is almost a million times bigger than our puny sun.

-On the International Space Station, urine passes through a special water treatment plant that turns it back into drinking water.

-A Mercury day is as long as 59 Earth days.

-NASA is developing 3D printed pizzas for astronauts.

-As yet, we have not discovered another planet with an atmosphere humans can breathe.

-Humans can live unprotected in space for about 30 seconds if they don't hold their breath.

-In 2006, NASA admitted that they no longer had the original video tapes of the moon landing because they recorded over them.

-Over 100 satellites are now launched into space every year.

-Solar flares reach temperatures of 10 million degrees Celsius and have the energy of a million atom bombs.

-More energy from the sun hits Earth every hour than the planet uses in a year.

-The core of a star reaches 16 million degrees Celsius. To put that into perspective - a grain of sand this hot would kill a person 150 km away.

-It is not known who made the Apollo 11 Moon flag. It was either one of the three purchased by NASA secretaries or ordered from a government catalog for $5.50.

-Floating cities above the clouds of Venus may be our best bet for becoming a two-planet species. Conditions there are so similar to Earth a human wouldn't need a pressurized suit, the gravity is similar and transit times are shorter than to Mars.

-As the earth turns, the stars come back to the same place in the night sky every 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.09 seconds. This is a sidereal day (star day).

-The Great Wall of China is not visible from space, but China's air pollution is.

-The Universe may have neither a center nor an edge, because according to Einstein's theory of relativity, gravity bends all of space time around into an endless curve.

-The first man-made object in space was the German V2 rocket.

-There may be as many as 20 trillion galaxies in the universe. Galaxies are often found in a clusters, one cluster can have 30 or more galaxies in it. The Virgo Cluster is 50 million light years away and is made up of 1000 galaxies.

-North Korea's space agency is called "NADA"... which in Spanish means "nothing".

-The sun weighs 2,000 trillion, trillion tones or about 300,000 times as much as the Earth.

-An astronaut threw a boomerang while visiting the International Space Station and it returned to him, even in the absence of gravity.

-Spacecraft toilets are designed to operate in low gravity conditions - astronauts sit on a device which sucks away the waste as its expelled. Solid waste is dried and dumped in space, the water is recycled.

-The farthest distance from Earth an astronaut has ever traveled was during the Apollo 13 emergency.

-The very furthest galaxies are spreading away from us at more than 90% of the speed of light.

-It is impossible to whistle in a spacesuit.

-Spacecraft toilets are designed to operate in low gravity conditions - astronauts sit on a device which sucks away the waste as its expelled. Solid waste is dried and dumped in space, the water is recycled.

-Sex is banned aboard the ISS.

-The largest moon in the Solar System is the Jupiter's moon Ganymede.

-If the Sun were the size of a beach ball in Space, then Jupiter would be the size of a golf ball and the Earth would be as small as a pea.

-Neptune's moon Triton is the coldest place in the Solar System. With surface temperatures of minus 236 degree Celsius its probably a bad place to vacation.

-Cockroaches raised in space become quicker, stronger, faster, and tougher than cockroaches on Earth.

-The Universe is probably about 15 billion years old, plus or minus a few years of course. One problem with working out the age of the Universe is that there are stars in our galaxy which are thought to be 14 to 18 billion years old - older than the estimated age of the universe. So, either the stars must be younger, or the universe older.

-Astronauts on the International Space Station exercise about 2 hours per day.

-Matter spiraling into a black hole is torn apart and glows so brightly that it creates the brightest objects in the Universe - quasars.

-In 1963, a cat called "Felicette" became the first feline in space. Laika, the first dog in space, did not die peacefully as initially reported by the Soviets. She died because the cabin overheated.

-The distance to planets is measured by bouncing radar signals off them and timing how long they take to come back.

-"Apollo 13" "Armageddon" and "Around the World in 80 Days" are among the movies NASA keeps aboard the International Space Station.

-The lower a satellite's orbit, the faster it must fly to avoid falling back to Earth. Most satellites fly in low orbits, 300 kilometers up.

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

-The slowest rotating planet is Venus, which takes 243.01 Earth days to turn around.

-John F Kennedy had such concerns about the space program's high cost, that he proposed partnering with the Soviet Union on a joint expedition to the moon.

-The fastest spinning objects in the Universe are neutron stars - these can rotate 500 times in just 1 second.

-Twelve men have walked on the moon, all during the Apollo missions.

-Our sun is about 5 billion years old and already half a way through its life.

-The space shuttle Enterprise was initially to be named Constitution, but fans of the TV show Star Trek ran a successful write-in campaign to change the name.

-The moon's gravity is 17% of the Earth's. This means astronauts can jump 4 meters high on the moon with the same effort it takes to jump normally on earth.
-The space shuttle program has had more than 120 successful flights but also two disasters in which the shuttles and crews were lost (Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003).

-A satellite or spacecraft in orbit 200 km above us is moving at over 8 kilometers a second.

-Space shuttle Endeavour was built using spare parts from Discovery and Atlantis.

-The Apollo astronauts' footprints on the moon will stay there perfectly preserved pretty much forever there is no atmosphere or wind to blow them away.

-The earth actually takes 365.24219 days to orbit the Sun; a Solar Year. How do we get this back? An extra day in February every four years! A leap year.

-99% of our solar system's mass is the sun.

-The largest asteroid ever recorded is a mammoth piece of space rock named Ceres. It is almost 600 miles (950 kilometers) in diameter and is by far the largest in the asteroid belt which lies between Jupiter and Mars and accounts for a whole third of the belt's mass. Its surface area is equal to the land area of India.

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