It may be rocket science for the engineers at NASA, however, some things truly aren’t…rocket science.
While doing preparation work for American astronaut Sally Ride’s space flight, NASA engineers determined that she may need one hundred tampons for seven days. Making sure to enquire with Sally if this will be sufficient, Sally replied “No. That would not be the right number.” To which she further quipped “You can cut it down by half.”
Scratch, Rattle, and Roll
Bound by a spacesuit, an itch can become a nightmare for an astronaut. With no way to reach the offending spot, astronauts have had to rely on a few rather rudimentary methods to alleviate the annoyance of an itch.
A tried and trusted method for facial itches is to stick a strategic strip of Velcro in their helmets. To deal with bodily itches, astronauts must shake and roll around in their spacesuits so the friction itself will sort out the itch!
Beware the Martian Bears
Every space mission has a survival kit in case of emergency. Curiously, the emergency kits for cosmonauts sent with the Soyuz space vessels had – of all things – a shotgun in it.
What dangers could astronauts possibly face in space whereby firepower would be necessary? None, it turns out. The shotgun was included in case there was an unexpected crash landing upon returning to earth and cosmonauts found themselves stranded in the wild of Siberia.
Tools Really Do Grow Legs
Astronauts will always be heard saying “Did this thing grow legs and walk away?” when referring to their tools in outer space. If an item becomes dislodged and begins to float, it could be impossible to locate for weeks on end as it sneakily flies through nooks and crannies in the space station.
Terry Virts, a NASA astronaut once jokingly said, “When the station finally comes back to Earth—hopefully, decades from now—there will be a lot of lost tools, lights, wedding rings, and who knows what else, re-emerging.”
Not Much Liftoff
A common belief is that astronauts spend most of their careers in space stations. This could not be further from the truth. Traveling to space is actually a very rare event in an astronaut’s career.
On average, astronauts will make two to three space trips within twenty years. Far more work is done by astronauts back home on planet earth to enhance the spaceflight technicalities — physical and technical studies being the foremost focus.