The microgravity of space can cause astronauts’ blood to run backwards.
On December 16, 1965, NASA received a prank transmission from two astronauts: “We have an object, probably in polar orbit… I see a command Module and and eight smaller modules in front. The pilot of the command module is wearing a red suit.” They then started playing, “Jingle Bells”.
An astronaut smuggled a corned-beef sandwich into space. After taking a bite, crumbs and rye started floating around the cabin. It has been referred to as ‘$30 million sandwich.’ NASA have taken steps to prevent corned-beef sandwiches from being taken on future flights.
Astronauts returning from space report higher concern with Universalism, Spirituality and references to “values orientated toward the collective good”.
Scott Carpenter was the only NASA Mercury astronaut who hadn’t finished college. After his spaceflight, the university granted him his degree because “his subsequent training as an astronaut more than made up for the deficiency in the subject of heat transfer.”
While performing the first space walk in human history, Alexey Leonov’s spacesuit inflated so much he couldn’t get back inside his space capsule. He had to let air out of his suit while still in the vacuum of space and was barely able to fit back through the airlock.
Astronauts lose as much as 22% of their blood while in space, as a reaction to the uniform blood pressure caused by microgravity. Until their body replaces this blood, many returning astronauts can’t stand for more than a few minutes without fainting.
Russian cosmonauts pee on the rear bus tire before a space launch. The tradition was started by Yuri Gagarin who did it out of necessity and Russians have since emulated him. Female cosmonauts bring along their urine in vials ready to dump on the tire so they can be part of tradition too.
After losing automatic control of his Mercury capsule, astronaut Gordon Cooper was forced to use his knowledge of constellations, wristwatch, and his eyeballs to manually land his spacecraft. He ended up splashing just 4 miles from his recovery ship, the most accurate landing up to that point.
Because nobody had thought to put a diaper inside Alan Shepard’s spacesuit during his Freedom 7 mission, he was forced to relieve himself directly into his suit after being in it for more than eight hours, shorting his medical electrodes.