In 1930, Chandra, an Indian student showed mathematically that massive stars explode into a supernova and then collapse down into neutron stars,or black holes. Before that Scientists assumed that all stars collapsed into white dwarfs when they died. Chandra’s theory was ridiculed as ‘absurd’.
50 years ago, Ham the chimp was launched into space, where he experienced up to 14.7g during a six-minute freefall. He survived his ocean splashdown (although he nearly drown before rescue crews arrived) and lived 20 more years at a zoo in Washington D.C.
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.