2:22 Friday Afternoon Launch Update

We’re now just 24 hours from launch!!! ….. hopefully… (ha)

So, since it’s Friday I figured I would share some NASA Friday Fun Facts. Buckle up, some of these may bLoW your mInD!

NASA has an Office of Planetary Protection that will protect any life we find in space. Any threat to that life will have to go through this office. Am I the only one who REALLY wants to work in this office?!

We have landed on the Moon six times. Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17. There was always a superstitious reservation about Apollo 13. Superstitions are so silly, though…..right? (haha)

Apollo 12 was struck by lightning twice. The lightning was sparked from a cloud deck the rocket flew through. Prior to launch, there was no lightning in the area.

Snoopy (from Peanuts)  is the astronaut safety-protocol mascot.

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Neil Armstrong turned his astronaut application in a week late. A friend of his slipped it into the pile so that it would look like it arrived on time. Procrastinators unite! (ha)

The Apollo astronauts didn’t qualify for life insurance. If that doesn’t tell you your job is dangerous nothing will! (ha) So, they signed “insurance photographs” prior to launch. The hope was that by selling those unique photographs enough money would be raised to take care of the astronaut’s families.

The Russians onboard the ISS don’t drink from the same water system as the Americans. The Americans recycle their urine to drink (as well as the Russians’ urine). The Russians refuse. I’ll have more on this  in a later post sometime (ha). And yes, I’m cringing just typing this nonsense (ha). All for science, right?

You must travel 50 miles up above the earth to earn your astronaut “wings”. Otherwise, your just an “astronaut candidate”. This is not without controversy, as the space shuttle Challenger passengers who had never been to space before that mission are technically not astronauts, since the Challenger never made it that high up.

Bill Nye the Science Guy has repeatedly applied to be an astronaut. He has been rejected every time. I like Bill Nye but never ever listen to him try to teach meteorology. It’s painful to watch and just so wrong.  He is the butt of many a jokes in our field.

The “good luck” breakfast of astronauts is scrambled eggs and steak. Thank Alan Shepard for this! Who could eat, though, right?

Before a shuttle launch the shuttle crews played a hand of cards. Every time. They always finished the hand before the flight. The game was either Blackjack or 5 card poker. The flight can’t happen until the commander loses.

The first man in spaceflight, Yuri Gagarin, had to make a pit stop before being taken to the launch pad…he peed on the back wheel of the van. Even today, it’s tradition (and expected) that male cosmonauts (Russian astronauts) pee on the back wheel of the vehicle that is taking them to the launch pad. Female cosmonauts are not obliged to participate but they have been known to bring a vial of their own urine to throw on that same tire. What? You thought you were the only one who didn’t just kick the tires?

Space is really weird but I’m pretty sure we humans are much, much weirder! (haha)

It may disturb you to know I could go on and on with NASA oddities. I’m sure SpaceX has as many, too.

So, the next time you see that penny on the ground that is heads up, don’t be embarrassed to pick it up. If anyone says anything just tell them that even the geniuses at NASA would have probably picked that darn thing up! (ha)

Please be looking for my LAUNCH WEEK post tonight. It’s about the cost of NASA and whether or not the cost outweighs the benefits. This is the number one criticism I hear and I always enjoy addressing that concern.

See you all this evening!

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