NASA is one of those organizations everyone dreams of working for. Each day they strive to reach the impossible, to break down the divide between what’s deemed reachable to man and are quite literally boldly going where no man has gone before.
No planet or corner of space is outside NASA’s grasp it’s just a question of time.
Voyager 1, a NASA probe, reached the outer edge of solar system in 2010, it took 33 years to do so but this was only one of NASA’s incredible feats.
Here we’re going to look at 30 facts about the ever mind-blowing spacemen and women at NASA.
- “NASA” stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
- NASA launched the Landsat satellites in 1972; they were designed to photograph the entire of the Earth‘s surface from space.
- NASA was founded on July 29th 1958, and started work on October 1st 1958. A year after the world’s first satellite; Sputnik 1 was launched.
- The SR-71, or Blackbird, was a secretive spy aircraft used by NASA for high-speed, high-altitude aeronautical research. It was designed in the late 1950’s and first flew in 1964.
- NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building is that large it can have rain clouds form near the ceiling inside the building on humid days. To counteract this, it has one of the world’s largest air conditioning systems.
- NASA actually has an Office of Planetary Protection in case life is found on another planet.
- Lonnie Johnson, a NASA scientist, invented the Super Soaker; he also helped develop the stealth bomber.
- President John F. Kennedy set NASA the goal of sending a man to the moon by the end of the 1960’s. On July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission.
- NASA was sued by three gentlemen from Yemen for trespassing on Mars. They claimed that they had inherited the planet from their ancestors 3000 years ago.
- In 2006 NASA had to get hold of, and restore, copies of the original moon landing from CBS and the Johnson Space Centre after admitting to accidentally recording over their own tape recordings.
- Gregory Nemitz’s firm Orbital Development issued NASA a $20 parking ticket after saying asteroid 433 Eros belonged to them and NASA’s craft NEAR Shoemaker had landed without permission.
- In 1999 NASA lost an orbiter as one half of the engineers were using metric measurements and the other were using imperial.
- The NASA Dryden Flight Research Centre is in Edwards, California.
- An intern, Thad Roberts, was incarcerated for 7 years after having intercourse on stolen moon rocks.
- People can get paid around $9,000 per month by NASA to lie in bed for every minute of the day for up to 70 days; they then monitor these volunteers to perfect methods for astronauts into space.
- NASA ran a competition among elementary and secondary school students to name a new shuttle. Then-president George H.W. Bush announced the winner Endeavour in May 1989.
- The logos of the organization are known as the meatball and worm, the worm was to represent the new and aerodynamic. Everyone hated it and they went back to the meatball.
- NASA is estimated to have sent over 2200 animals into space including insects, pigs, monkeys, rats, rabbits and spiders, 2000 were sent on one mission STS-90 in 1998.
- Columbia was NASA’s first space shuttle. On February 1st 2003, its 28th mission, it crumbled into pieces over Texas whilst on re-entry.
- NASA found a solution to the dreaded breadcrumb and instrument problem after some serious contemplation. Since 1985 astronauts have used tortillas instead of bread to minimize risk.
- NASA’s slogan is “To explore the Universe and search for life; to inspire the next generation of explorers, as only NASA can”.
- As of January 2016, visitors of the Space Centre Houston will be greeted by a life-size replica of the Space Shuttle, known as Independence, on a NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft. The center is available to hire.
- A US flag that went on two separate moon missions hangs in NASA’s mission control room.
- In NASA’s last astronaut recruitment intake for 8 positions there were 6000 applications.
- A full-sized ISS replica is used to train astronauts to spacewalk for repairing the ISS, The Natural Buoyancy Laboratory is submerged in a swimming pool the size of 10 Olympic pools and have astronauts scuba dive in full space suits for hours.
- On Wednesday 1st June 2016 NASA met social media, broadcasting a chat between Mark Zuckerberg and 3 astronauts aboard the ISS on their Facebook page.
- NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Centre has 100 buildings covering 660 hectares (1 hectare is an American football field or 10,000 sq. meters). It even has its own law enforcement the PSO; Protective Services Office.
- NASA in 2014 had a lawsuit filed against them by author Rhawn Joseph as they didn’t investigate potential alien life when a rock weirdly appeared in front of the Mars opportunity Rover.
- NASA’s Kepler mission, launched in 2009 has found 2,325 planet candidates and 1,284 were in a single finding, the largest to date.
- NASA announced that, alongside the National Nuclear Security Administration, they are working on plans to possibly destroying hazardous asteroids with nuclear weapons.
So from lawsuits to planetary discovery, NASA really do have all the fun.
The organization is often regarded as one of the most funded institutes in the U.S. and when it comes to the funding of an establishment who are designing potential asteroid destroying nuclear weapons or running a department for possible alien interaction, I really feel this amount should be higher!
There’s so much history when we talk about NASA and its only growing exponentially, so go and read up, look at their news page, watch old footage and of course don’t believe the conspiracy theorists.
Most importantly, if you ever become lucky enough to apparently own an asteroid, don’t ticket NASA.