A digital time capsule “A Message From Earth” was transmitted to the planet Gliese 581c and included a message by actress Gillian Anderson consisting of images of George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
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).
In 1973, three astronauts on the Skylab 4 space station went on strike after being over worked, demanding more time for contemplating the universe and in Pogue’s words “studying the, the Earth below, and ourselves”: the first strike in space.
Jupiter is so large that it and the Sun mutually orbit a point outside of the Sun itself.
Several long-duration Russian cosmonauts have reported that months after coming back to Earth, they occasionally let go objects in mid-air, still expecting them to float.
There is a star in our galaxy that is 5 billion times volume of our sun.
Some astronauts experience a profound shift in life perspective after seeing Earth from space.
When US imposed sanctions against Russia’s space program the Russian Deputy Prime Minister tweeted “After reviewing the sanctions against our space industry, I suggest that the United States deliver their astronauts to the ISS using a trampoline.”
In 2009, Russian Cosmonauts on the International Space Station were banned by their officials from using the ‘luxurious’ U.S. model astro-loo toilet, and were only allowed to use the Russian-built toilet.