NASA | Amazing Facts

NASA Amazing Facts 4u

60 Amazing Fascinating NASA Facts | Amazing Facts 4U

  1. The acronym “NASA” stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA was established in 1958 by President Eisenhower one year after the Soviets launched Sputnik 1, the world’s first artificial satellite. It has been a pioneer and leader in the field of space missions in the world.
  2. Around 19,000 employees work at NASA headquarters in Washington and in it’s 10 command centers around the United States. Additional 40,000 contractors work for the space agency.
  3. The most well-known bases are the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida where space shuttles are prepared and launched, and the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas where shuttle mission control and International Space Station operators are located.
  4. Area code for Kennedy Space Center in Florida and its surrounding areas is 321, given for its pronunciation resembling the countdown before liftoff.
  5. NASA designs its robotic missions to comets, Mars and other planets in the solar system at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
  6. Around 85% of NASA’s annual budget goes to researchers and engineers that are responsible for developing the technology used on manned and unmanned missions into space.
  7. A poll  revealed that Americans thought NASA’s funding accounted for 20% of the federal budget. In fact, NASA has received one cent or less per every tax dollar since 1975.
  8. So far NASA has so far obtained about 6,500 patents. NASA has invented invisible braces and scratch resistant lenses.
  9. SR-71, also known as the “Blackbird,” is the research aircraft used by NASA as a test bed for high-speed, high-altitude aeronautical research. It was secretly designed in the 1950s.
  10. In May 1961  Freedom 7, the first piloted Mercury spacecraft carrying Astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr., was launched from Cape Canaveral. It was the first American space flight involving human beings.
  11. President John F. Kennedy gave NASA the goal of sending a man to the moon by the end of the 1960s.
  12. Amazingly way back in 1965, NASA built a wind tunnel capable of reaching wind speeds of up to Mach 50.
  13. July 16-24, 1969 – Apollo 11 went to the moon. On July 20, 1969, the Lunar Module with astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin landed on the lunar surface while Michael Collins orbited overhead in the Apollo command module. Armstrong was first to set foot on the surface, saying that it is “one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
  14. When Buzz Aldrin joined Armstrong on the surface, he had to make sure not to lock the Eagle’s door because there was no outer handle.
  15. Amazing fact is Neil Armstrong’s NASA application was late by a week. If it weren’t for his friend, Dick Day’s effort to secretly slip his application it into the pile, he would have been rejected.
  16. Amazingly the Apollo – 11  computers had less processing power than a simple cell phone and 1/6 th computing power of today’s calculators.
  17. When Apollo 11’s lunar lander, the Eagle, separated from the orbiter, the cabin wasn’t fully depressurized, resulting in a burst of gas equivalent to popping a champagne cork. It threw the module’s landing nearly four miles off target.
  18. Pilot Neil Armstrong had nearly ran out of fuel landing the Eagle, and many at mission control worried he might crash.
  19. NASA took measures to prevent microorganisms from returning to earth on or in the Apollo capsules, because they weren’t sure that there was no life on the moon.
  20. Twelve men have so far walked on the moon, all during the Apollo missions. Amazingly 11 of the 12 men who have walked on the moon were Boy Scouts.
  21. Most amazing and embarrassing part of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon was the United States government’s failure to insure the lives of its astronauts as no life insurance company in the world was ready to insure for this apparently suicide mission. The astronauts in fact signed a series of autographs which could be sold if they indeed perished on their miracle mission.
  22. When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin returned victorious from their moon landing , there was wide fear that they could have brought lunar germs. They were quarantined in a converted Airstream trailer for 21 days.
  23. In 1970, the Apollo 13 lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded.
  24. John Aaron, a NASA flight controller, not only saved Apollo 12 after it was struck by lightning, but also saved the Apollo 13 crew members by developing a unique power up sequence to allow a safe reentry.
  25. Landsat were the series of satellites that were first launched in 1972 for the purpose of photographing the whole surface of the Earth from space.
  26. The twin spacecraft Voyager 1 and 2 were launched in 1977, 16 days apart. Voyager 1 is about 19 billion kilometers from Earth while Its sibling, Voyager 2, is 15.5 billion kilometers from our planet. Voyager 1 has already entered interstellar space becoming the first man made object to leave the Solar system. It is traveling at amazing 60000 km per hour and should fly near the nearest star in about 40,000 years. Voyager 2 should also leave solar system in 2015.
  27. Most amazing fact is that Voyager 1 has only 68 KB of memory on board . Natural radioactive decay provides heat that generates enough electricity to help Voyager 1 still communicate with Earth. It takes NASA and Voyager I approximately 32 hours to communicate with each other.
  28. When Skylab reentered the atmosphere and crashed in Australia in 1979, Australian government fined NASA $400 for littering. The fine remained unpaid for 30 years.
  29. During the flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-31) in April 1990 , the crew deployed the Hubble Space Telescope in space.
  30. The Mars Pathfinder landed on Mars in July 1997. Two days later, the Sojourner Rover rolled out of the Pathfinder and onto Mars’s surface and began transmitting pictures of Mars back to Earth.
  31. In 1998, NASA grew Insulin crystals in space. Researchers found that it was so effective it could reduce Insulin intake from 1-3 times per day to once every 3 days.
  32. Amazing fact is that in 1999, NASA lost a $ 125 million Mars orbiter because half of the project staff used imperial measurements and the other half used metric.
  33. A man named Gregory W. Nemitz claimed ownership of Asteroid 433 Eros, on which the spacecraft  Shoemaker landed in 2001. His company Orbital Development issued NASA a parking ticket for $20.
  34. The space shuttle program has had more than 120 successful flights but also two disasters in which the shuttles and crews were lost (Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003).
  35. U.S. and Russian astronauts aboard International Space Station have their own separate water supplies. While the U.S. water supply uses iodine for bacteria control, the Russian water supply uses silver. If these substances were to mix, a silver-iodine precipitate would form in the water, which may clog the sublimator in the NASA EMU spacesuit.
  36. In 2006, NASA launched a probe to Pluto, just months before it was demoted to dwarf planet status. It was the fastest spacecraft ever launched by NASA.
  37. In 2006, NASA finally admitted that they no longer had the original video tapes of the moon landing because they recorded over them.
  38. In 2006, NASA found a strange cosmic noise that boomed six times louder than expected, known as the space roar. Cause is still not known.
  39. In June 2012, the National Reconnaissance Office donated 2 telescopes to NASA that are more powerful than the Hubble just because they were ‘obsolete’. Both of these satellites were never launched.
  40. Curiosity entered Mars’ atmosphere at 13,200 mph ,17 times the speed of sound when it prepared to land on it.
  41. Curiosity weighed one ton. When it landed in Aug 2012 , it sent debris flying more than 1,300 yards from the touchdown site on Mars.
  42. More than 1.2 million people submitted their names to be sent to Mars, etched on a microchip that the Curiosity rover will carry on its “back.”
  43. Curiosity has a laser gun that can vaporize a rock from 23 feet away to examine its chemical composition.
  44. Due to the unreliability of solar power, Curiosity was energized by an advanced nuclear power system called the Multi Mission Radioisotope Thermo Electric Generator. The on-board nuclear power plant was capable of generating electricity from plutonium-238 dioxide for up to 14 years, which should be plenty of time since Curiosity was to be functional only for  23 months.
  45. Despite the fact that Curiosity spent two year on Mars, the rover only traveled a total distance of about 10 miles from its landing site during the entire duration of its mission after making the 350 million-mile trip to Mars.
  46. Three men from Yemen sued NASA for trespassing on Mars. They claimed that they inherited the planet from their ancestors 3,000 years ago.
  47. NASA often shows the Hollywood movie “Armageddon” as part of its management training program asking new staff to identify the scientific inaccuracies. There are at least 168 of them.
  48. NASA will text you whenever the International Space Station passes overhead.
  49. NASA will pay you $15,000 to lay in bed 24 hours a day for 90 days to measure the effects of zero gravity on your body.
  50. NASA has discovered a “waterworld” planet about 40 light-years away from earth that might contain exotic materials such as “hot ice” and “superfluid water.”
  51. While filming his Victorian masterpiece, Barry Lyndon, Stanley Kubrick used lenses that were commissioned by NASA for the Apollo moon landings. Theses lenses allowed him to capture scenes lit only by candlelight.
  52. There is a large area over Brazil where the Earth’s magnetic field has weakened called South Atlantic Anomaly. NASA in fact powers down its satellites when passing over it.
  53. NASA is developing a new engine that can shorten a Mars mission to days.
  54. Quinoa is so nutritionally dense and complete that it is being considered a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned space expeditions.
  55. NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building is so huge it needs about 10,000 tons of Air Conditioning equipment to prevent rain clouds from forming inside on humid days.
  56. NASA is building a bi-directional “Flying Wing” aircraft. It can fly forwards or sideways at full speed.
  57. NASA made the most perfect sphere ever created to test Einstein’s theory of relativity with no more than a difference of 40 atoms on its surface.
  58. NASA solved a $100 million vibration problem for 5 bucks by programming their screens to flicker.
  59. In order for NASA to recognize you as an astronaut, you must travel higher than 50 miles from the Earth’s surface.
  60. Amazing fact is that the Soviet probe Lunokhod 1 was lost for 38 years on the Moon until NASA found it and succeeded in using its reflector dish.

 By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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