NASA officially banned consuming alcohol in space in 1972 after sherry was proposed for Skylab meals, but it never really went away. “NASA will tell you there is no alcohol aboard the ISS” says astronaut Clayton Anderson. “As a person who lived there for five months, I’ll tell you that’s bogus.”
After just under a year in space, astronaut Scott Kelly’s gene expression changed significantly and it’s different to his identical twin brother’s DNA. A new NASA statement suggests the physical and mental stresses of Scott Kelly’s year in orbit may have activated hundreds of “space genes” that altered the astronaut’s immune system, bone formation, eyesight and other bodily processes. While most of these genetic changes reverted to normal following Scott Kelly’s return to Earth, about 7 percent of the astronaut’s gene expression remained altered — and it may stay that way permanently.
Long term radiation damages the cameras on the ISS. Also, astronauts occasionally see flashes of light as heavy ions or charged particles crash through their skull and fire off photo receptor cells in their eyes despite being closed.
The first toilet paper factory in the USSR was built in 1969, 8 years after they went to space.
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson received large amounts of hate mail from children after declassifying Pluto as a planet.
In early 1990s, NASA sent jellyfish to space to test how spaceflight would affect their development. The jellies did not develop the proper gravity-sensing capabilities and had trouble figuring how to swim around in normal gravity, with abnormal pulsing and movement when returned to Earth.
On May 2nd 2019, an extremely high resolution image was made from 16 years of observations from the Hubble telescope. This image is the deepest view of the universe, containing roughly 265,000 galaxies and stretches through 13.3 billion years to just 500 million years after the big bang.
In 1977 Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune were entering a rare alignment that occurs every 175 years. This happened to be when humans were first attempting space exploration so we were coincidentally able to send Voyager 2 on a flyby of all four planets on its way out of the solar system.
On March 18, 1965, Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov became the first man to walk in space. The 30-year-old Russian floated outside the Voskhod 2 spacecraft for 12 minutes while connected to a 16ft tether.
Astronauts Mark Lee and Jan Davis married in secret 9 months before their joint flight to the ISS and didn’t tell NASA until it was too late to train replacements. They are the only married couple to have ever flown in space together.