To become an astronaut in Japan you are tested in your ability to fold a thousand paper cranes. These cranes are then analyzed by a team of psychologists to see how the person deals with boring, repetitive tasks and time constraints. The psychologists check whether the folds get less precise at the end of the task, and see how they compare with the first ones.
As the third man in history stepped onto the moon he said “Whoopee! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me”.
NASA has a long standing tradition to wake up astronauts with a specially selected track of music each day, usually picked by friends or family members, called “Wake Up Calls”.
Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, married a fellow cosmonaut, and they had a daughter, Elena. Elena became the first person to have both parents that have been to outer space.
All astronauts have to learn how to speak Russian, and all cosmonauts have to learn how to speak English.
Plans were in place to sever all communication with astronauts on the moon if they had been stranded by a technical failure.
NASA Astronaut Owen Garriott successfully pranked flight controllers by playing a recording of his wife whilst on SkyLab. There were no women on board the space station and was used to make it look like there was a stowaway.
In 1962 astronaut Scott Carpenter spent a total of 28 days below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, close to the La Jolla, CA coast, in the SEALAB II experimental underwater habitat. This was a world record and quite a feat considering the dangers of saturation diving. Congratulations were clearly in order and the consummate politician President Lyndon Johnson did not skip a beat. Carpenter, aided by Capt. George F. Bond, USN, M.D., was to call the President to receive his congratulations.
Astronaut Scott Carpenter spoke to President Johnson 200 ft below the surface of the ocean, but he was in a decompression chamber with a helium atmosphere and nobody could understand what he was saying.
Apollo Mission astronauts have nearly five times higher mortality from cardiovascular disease than other astronauts due to exposure to deep-space radiation.
An Apollo astronaut lost his wedding ring during his trip to the moon… and found it again during a spacewalk.