10 Cool Facts About the Space Program!
By infohub — Aug 16th, 2018
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has hit amazing landmarks since its establishment in 1958. It's hard to believe that the accomplished space agency has been around for only 60 years, but it has, and its recent birthday requires a list of its achievement. These 10 cool facts about NASA and the space program are only part of the facts about America's pride in space exploration.
1. NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building in Cape Canaveral is so tall that clouds are sometimes formed in it! The building, located in Florida, is the tallest single-story building in the world, and it can be daunting to go inside.
2. The US entered the space race on January 31, 1958, when NASA launched Explorer 1 - the first American satellite to reach orbit. On board the satellite there was equipment that made it possible to discover the Allen radiation belt.
3. You can work in NASA and get paid to do nothing. How come? In order to check the effects of zero gravity on the human body, several people were chosen to lie in bed for 70 days with a $15,000 paycheck.
4. Luna 1 was the first spacecraft to enter the moon's immediate orbit, even before America's Apollo and Russia's Sputnik.
5. The Apollo flight computer - the computer that was used to send astronauts to the moon, had a very week processor with only 64 kilobytes of memory and an operating speed of 43 kHz.
6. To beat the former USSR in the space race, NASA launched Tiros 1- the first weather satellite that actually worked.
7. Yuri Gagarin, Russia's and the world's first man in space, spoke against fighting when he flew to space during the space race, saying “Orbiting Earth in the spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is. People, let us preserve and increase this beauty, not destroy it!”
8. Star Track fans sent hundreds of thousands of letters to president Ford, asking him to change the name of the Constitution satellite to Enterprise. Ford excepted their request and personally directed NASA to follow the Trekkies wishes.
9. Out of the Mercury Seven - America's first astronauts, only John Glenn is alive today – the oldest member of the bunch.
10. The space shuttle program registered over 120 successful flights into space, and two disasters that took the lives of all their crew members - Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003.