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50 Cool Facts about NASA That’ll Blow You Away

1Apollo 11 bag

NASA accidentally auctioned off for just $995 a bag that was used by Apollo 11 astronauts to collect the first lunar sample. When the buyer sent the bag to NASA for verification, the space agency realized its mistake and refused to return it. - Source


2. 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.


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3. 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. - Source


4. 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. - Source


5. 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. - Source


6TLC 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". - Source


7. A NASA astronaut (Don L. Lind) waited 19 years to fly in space. He was selected in 1966 but was chosen for canceled missions, or as a backup for missions. He said, "I was backing up two of the most depressingly healthy people you can imagine." He finally flew on the space shuttle in 1985. - Source


8. According to NASA, the use of nuclear power prevented an average of over 1.8 million net deaths worldwide between 1971-2009 as a result of lower air pollution from reduced coal usage. - Source


9. 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. - Source


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


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11Laurel Clark

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." - Source


12. 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. - Source


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


14. 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. - Source


15. 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.


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16Lodewijk 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. - Source


17. There's a team of NASA scientists (HI-SEAS IV mission) who've been pretending they're on Mars for nearly a year. They live and work in a dome on the side of a Hawaiian volcano and only go out in spacesuits. - Source


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


19. 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. - Source


20. NASA has 2 satellites chasing each other around the Earth tracking the distance between themselves to measure gravitational anomalies. Their nicknames are Tom and Jerry. - Source


21Stefania Follini

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. - Source


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


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


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


25. 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. - Source

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