Advertisement

Leading the way in improvisation

Leading the way in improvisation
ZORRO 999/SHUTTERSTOCK

This comes as no surprise to anyone who’s watched the largely accurate portrayal of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission and the ways in which NASA scientists on Earth worked miraculous fixes that could bring the crew safely home. But NASA astronauts themselves are no improvisational slouches, either. Apollo 11’s Aldrin actually used a ballpoint pen to fix an essential but broken arming switch in the lunar module, reports NBC.

 

First meals

First meals
PNPIMAGES/SHUTTERSTOCK

We talk about last meals. What about the first meals – on the Moon? The first-ever was consumed by Aldrin and Armstrong and consisted of bacon squares, peaches, sugar cookie cubes, pineapple-grapefruit drink, and coffee, all of which were stashed in the lunar module and consumed beside the Sea of Tranquility, reports Smithsonian Magazine.

Here are the 10 best meals to eat when you feel your worst.

 

Astronauts tell lies…

Astronauts tell lies…
NAUMOV S/SHUTTERSTOCK

But it’s for the benefit of our entertainment, stuck as we are back on our home planet. To wit: as Science 101 reports, Alan Shepard, who was on the first manned NASA flight, told reporters that the view from space for the 15 minutes he got to enjoy it was “beautiful” and “brilliantly clear.” The truth: the sun-blocking filter on the periscope he looked through also blocked out most of that beauty and clarity.

Here are 11 of the biggest lies that made history.

Going to great lengths to keep astronauts happy

Going to great lengths to keep astronauts happy
NASA/SHUTTERSTOCK

Being in space can be isolating and depressing, so NASA has worked hard to mitigate the effects of the long days, weeks, and months astronauts are trapped in small vessels. For example, Wired reports that on the International Space Station, NASA and its partner space programs around the world made sure there was a large-windowed cupola included in the design that astronauts could visit when they needed some personal and private time.

 

Firsts for women

Firsts for women
DAVID BUCHAN/VARIETY/SHUTTERSTOCK

The first US woman in space was actually the third woman of all – Sally Ride, on the space shuttle Challenger, following in the footsteps of Soviet cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova and Svetlana Savitskaya on the Soyuz T-7 mission. The first woman space station commander, though, was American Peggy Whitson, who took on the role in 2008. She’s also the first woman to command the space station twice – the second time was in 2016, according to Space.com. Mae Johnson was the first African-American woman in space, in 1992.

Here are ten inspirational quotes from the world’s strongest women.

What’s left behind

What’s left behind
EVERETT COLLECTION/SHUTTERSTOCK

Armstrong’s footprints remain in the lunar dust 50 years after he first walked on the Moon’s surface. But that’s not all that NASA and other space agencies have left behind there. Visitors to the orb would find all manner of equipment, clothing, flags, plus bags of urine, faeces, and vomit.

 

 

Advertisement

Fear of plague

Fear of plague
PRESSMASTER/SHUTTERSTOCK

We know now that there’s nothing alive on the Moon – or anywhere else in our solar system that we’ve yet confirmed. But back when Apollo 11 returned home from its visit, NASA was concerned about the possibility of ‘lunar germs’, reports NBC News. So, it quarantined the mission’s astronauts for three long weeks.

Did you know about these medical conditions that can kill you in 24 hours or less?

NASA tech at its finest

NASA tech at its finest
SHUTTERSTOCK

The agency is a leader in tech of all kinds. But some tech has benefits that resonate far beyond the mission at hand. For example, in 2004, U.S. astronaut Mike Fincke was 370 kilometres from Earth aboard the International Space Station when his daughter was born. But he didn’t have to miss the whole event; he was able to hear her first cries thanks to what NASA refers to only as state-of-the-art ‘communication technology’.

Here are the 4 most confusing computer technology terms explained.

First voice from space

First voice from space
EVERETT COLLECTION/SHUTTERSTOCK

Some of NASA’s amazing firsts predate its missions to the Moon and beyond. In 1958, the Project Score communications relay satellite was sent into orbit, from which President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Christmas message for that year was beamed out to anyone who might be listening, making the 34th President’s the first voice ever to be sent from space.

 

The moon flags were bought at Sears

The moon flags were bought at Sears
NCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA/UIG/SHUTTERSTOCK

According to NASA’s history site, the various 3′-by-5′ nylon flags that were sent to the moon on the Apollo 11 mission were all purchased at a Sears store in Houston, near the Manned Spacecraft Centre. Apparently, NASA secretaries had been deployed to make these purchases on their lunch hours.

 

Never miss a deal again - sign up now!

Connect with us:

Philippines lockdown update:
Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, Reader’s Digest magazine May issue will not be available at its regular on-sale date to our subscribers or through our retail channels in that region. We hope to have the issues available in early June, but this is dependent on when the lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team