Fifty-five years ago today, astronaut Yuri Gagarin made history, when he got into Soviet Vostok 1 spaceship capsule and launched into space. Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. Reports praised Gagarin for his perfect flight, but in fact he didn’t pilot the Vostok capsule. Psychologists working with the Soviet Space Program were worried that exposure to weightlessness would impact the pilot’s decision-making faculties. And so, the pilot was effectively locked out of controlling his capsule.
In 1993, the American company Space Marketing Inc. proposed to build a giant advertising billboard in outer space that would appear roughly the same size and brightness as the moon. The project didn’t meet funding and inspired a bill to ban all advertisement in outer space.
Astronauts in the Apollo program reported seeing “streaks” of white light every 3 minutes, even when they closed their eyes.
If an astronaut “loses it” in space, part of the protocol is to restrain them with duck tape.
The Minnesota Vikings are building a stadium that costs more than sending a space probe to Pluto.
The light of galaxies greater than 14.7 billion light years away will never reach us, because those parts of the universe are receding away from us at faster than light speed.
There is a theory that predicts that the universe is a projected 3D illusion created by a 2D surface on the outermost edges of space. Not too different from a hologram.
In 2007 China tested a missile and shot down one of their own satellites, accidentally creating 2,087 pieces of space debris on crazy orbits, all of which are now required to be tracked to avoid space collisions.
There exists a dwarf planet, Haumea, past the orbit of Neptune that is the fastest spinning planet or dwarf planet in the Solar System by far. How fast? Well Haumea is a third the mass of Pluto, but rotates once every 3.5 hours. This is so fast it puts a lot of stress on the dwarf planet and makes it look like an ellipsoid– as in, normally it would be fairly spherical like a tennis ball, but is spinning so fast that Haumea is twice as long as it is wide (so like a lentil).