Space is full of mysteries and scientists would probably need multiple lives to research on every discovery humans make and the opportunities space provides. Here is a list of those mysteries that will blow your mind.

Facts About Space

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1. Space Smells like Burnt Meat or a Blacksmith Workshop

Astronauts who have gone on spacewalks talk regularly about the exceedingly strange scent about space. While they’re actually bobbing in it, they can’t smell it, because their space interiors just smell plastic-y. But they get a solid, distinctive sniff of the final frontier after walking back into the space station and removing their helmets. The scent clings to their mask, hat, gloves, and equipment.

The International Space Station ‘s interior smells a little banaler. Pettit, who just returned from a second six-month stint on the ISS, told, “The Space Station smells like a half-machine-shop-machine-room-laboratory, and sometimes you can smell a little roast beef while you prepare dinner and tear a bag of stew or whatever.”

2. The US blew up a hydrogen bomb 100 times more powerful than the one exploded in Hiroshima

In 1962 scientists sent and blew up a massive hydrogen bomb into space some 250 miles above the Earth ‘s surface. The idea was to send rockets hundreds of miles away, higher than the Earth’s atmosphere, and then detonate nuclear bombs to see: if the radiation of a bomb made it difficult to see what was out there (such as incoming Russian missiles), if an explosion could cause any harm to nearby objects, and if the Van Allen belts would bring the bands down to an earthly target. 

The bomb used was 1000-fold stronger than the one that hit Hiroshima. The explosion turned the world into bursts of light that could be seen across the pacific. Code-named by the military “Starfish Prime,” it essentially created an artificial extension of the Van Allen belts which could be seen throughout the Pacific Ocean: from Hawaii to New Zealand.

3. More than 16 Sunrises and Sunsets Can be Seen From International Space Station(ISS) Every Day

Astronaut Scott Kelly has really cornered the space market for photographing sunrises and sunsets — not because he has a lot of competition. But did you know that Kelly sees more than humans on Earth do?

The International Space Station moves 17,100 miles per hour at a brisk rate. That means it circles the Earth every 90 minutes — so every 90 minutes it sees a sunrise. So the ISS residents see 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets every day. Kelly is midway through a 342-day ISS mission. He will see 10,944 sunrises and sunsets in that time period. We are going to see just 684 down here.

4. ISS- The Most Expensive Structure Ever Built by Human

NASA estimates that since 1994 the station has cost US taxpayers $50 billion — and all member nations have pegged its price tag to $100 billion overall. In order to put that into context, the Large Hadron Collider — the world’s largest particle accelerator near Geneva — was a mere $9 billion project, and yet its results are likely to be too vague to keep most citizens’ attention.

The ISS has been listed as the most expensive single item ever built. The cost was estimated to be $150 billion in 2010. This includes NASA’s $58.7 billion (inflation-unadjusted) station budget from 1985 to 2015 ($72.4 billion in 2010 dollars), Russia’s $12 billion, Europe’s $5 billion, Japan’s $5 billion, Canada’s $2 billion, and station-building costs of 36 shuttle flights; estimated at $1.4 billion each, or a total of $50.4 billion. Assuming 20,000 person-days of use by two- to six-person crews from 2000 to 2015, each person-day would cost Skylab $7.5 million, less than half the inflation-adjusted $19.6 million ($5.5 million prior to inflation) per person-day.

5. A Signal that Lasted 72 Seconds was Received from the Outer Space in 1977 of Which the Source is Still Unknown

1977 saw a 72-second signal. According to radio astronomer Jerry Ehman, on 15 August 1977, at around 11:16 pm, the “source radio signal” reached the receiver of the Big Ear radio telescope at Ohio State University in the US. A few days later, Ehman picked up the odd signal on a printout of a computer. It was “of a small angular diameter in the sky” from a narrow frequency band radio source, he wrote. He then pointed out six numbers on the red pen printout, and wrote “Wow! “In the opposite corner. 

When the signal was studied by Ehman and his colleagues, physicist John Kraus, who constructed the Big Ear telescope, started to call it the “Wow! signal “. Many speculations and theories emerged about what could have caused it. It included planets, asteroids, satellites, ships, spacecraft or even alien intelligence.

6. Speed of ISS is 17500 mph

The ISS travels around the Planet at about 17,500 mph (~28,000 km / h) resulting in one revolution being completed in around 90 minutes, and around 16 revolutions per day. The ISS rotates at a rate of around 4 degrees per minute around its centre of mass so that it completes a full rotation once per orbit. It helps to hold its belly against Earth. Since the Earth is revolving, each orbit the ISS is not going through the same places on Earth. Every orbit is 22.5 degrees to the east of the earlier orbit (360-degree Earth rotation in one day, separated by 16 ISS orbits around the Earth in one day).

7. On the ISS Urine is Specially Treated and Turned Into Drinking Water

Water is heavy and difficult to carry into orbit, which is why the International Space Station is a champion in recycling. It also collects and processes astronaut urine to make it drinkable. The machine that is doing this work is about to get a major update.

The ISS water recycling system is responsible for transforming wastewater into drinkable water. One ongoing concern has been the urine-processing part of the system. A new urine distillation system must be installed for astronauts. This piece manages the critical step of boiling urine for the purification process to kick off.

8. Water Reservoir that Holds Almost 140 Trillion Times the Amount of Water on Earth is Floating in the Space

That’s some “Out of the World” fact and quite literally. Astronomers have found the largest water body so far known, a water reservoir floating in space around an ancient remote quasar containing 140 trillion times the mass of water in the oceans of the Earth. Incredibly enough, the discovery was dated to be 12 billion light-years out from the Big Bang, just 1.6 billion light-years more.

The water cloud has been found to be the most powerful known entities in space in the central regions of a faraway quasar. Quasars, with this particular one pumping out 1,000 trillion times more energy than our sun, and 65,000 times the entire Milky Way. The black hole found at the centre of the quasar has a mass 20 billion times larger than the sun.

9. The US Space Explorers are called Astronauts while the Russians Space Explorers are Called Cosmonauts

Cosmonauts are people qualified to work in space and accredited by the Russian Space Agency. Astronauts are individuals qualified and accredited to work in space by NASA, ESA, CSA or JAXA. While the two terms may appear practically similar, due to the different organizational philosophies of the various space agencies, they vary significantly. Such various philosophies give rise to subtly different skill sets and areas of expertise.

Yet in the end, the difference between the two terms is one of reverence. The Russians have a strong history of spaceflight with humans. They brought the first person into space and hold records in space for an individual for the longest time, both total mission and career. Additionally, they hold the record for a person with the most spacewalks. Every cosmonaut who gets the designation of cosmonaut takes on a mantle once worn by Yuri Gagarin. It would be callous and arrogant to ask them to give up their title only for conformity.

10. Some Stars that can actually be touched have been discovered

NASA scientists offered a first glance at a peculiar class of stellar wallflowers called Y dwarf in the August last year.  Unlike normal stars, which burn continuously at thousands of degrees, the warmest of these bodies of Jupiter scale are only hot enough to bake cookies — and the coolest room temperature barely falls.

Now, using the same instrumentation they used to detect brown dwarfs last year, NASA has found six new, even-cooler objects known as “Y-dwarfs.” Y-dwarfs are the brown dwarf family’s coldest members, making these stars the coolest of the coolest. Cooler than our human body. 

11. Humans Would need no Pressurized Suits to Breathe and the Gravity is also similar in the floating cities above the Cloud of Venus 

Venus has the most Earth-like conditions in the entire solar system, 31 miles (50 km) above. The pressure and temperature decrease significantly and the gravity is Earth’s 90 per cent or .9g. When in Mars, gravity is a dangerous.4 g which results in many complications for human settlers. Low gravity decreases muscle strength, inhibits balance and causes bones to lose minerals. Astronauts can experience drops of up to 1 per cent per month in bone density. But advanced cases of elder bone loss here on Earth see just declines of 1 per cent per year.

Although proposals to colonize Mars include defensive domes, the Venus colonies will be cloud cities. Floating structures and blimps built from light but durable material (for example, graphene) will allow the cities to be mobile and robust amidst the harsh winds of Venus. The blimps will be tiled with solar panels that could harvest energy overhead. Since the planet is made almost entirely of CO2, any number of gasses, including oxygen and nitrogen, which are healthy for humans, may be used for flotation.

Researchers predict that cloud cities will be easier to set up than their Martian counterparts in certain respects. Fewer product, greater versatility and better exposure to solar power will also make maintenance simpler, with Venus receiving 4 times as much solar energy as Mars.

12. Humans can survive no longer than 30 seconds in space without holding their breath

Outer space is an incredibly dangerous environment. If you were to step out of a spacecraft like the International Space Station or into a planet with little to no atmosphere like the moon or Mars without a spacesuit being secured, you would lose consciousness as there is no oxygen. It could take place in as little as 15 seconds. Since there is no air pressure to hold the blood and body fluids in a liquid state, the fluids would “boil.” Since the “boiling cycle” will cause them to lose heat energy rapidly, the fluids will freeze until they were fully evaporated. There is a cool display in the Science Museum of San Francisco, The Exploratorium, demonstrating this principle!).

The process may take up to 1 minute from 30 seconds. Therefore, astronaut David Bowman was able to survive in “2001: A Space Odyssey” as he ejected without a space helmet from the space pod into the airlock and repressed the airlock within 30 seconds.

13. The Sun Appears to be white to Human Eye from the Space

It’s a growing misconception that the Sun is yellow, orange, or even red. The Sun is actually all of the colours mixed together, however, which appear white to our eyes. And although the sun emits the most in the green portion of the spectrum, it also strongly emits in all visible colours-red and blue (400 nm to 600 nm).

Our eyes, which have three colour cone cell receptors, report to the brain that each colour receptor is completely saturated at all visible wavelengths, with significant colours received. Then our brains transform these signals into a perceived white colour.

The weather plays a part in the sun’s light, here on Earth. Since shorter wavelength blue light is more easily distributed than longer wavelength red light, we lose more of the sun’s blue tint when sunlight travels into the atmosphere.

14. NADA which in Spanish means ‘Nothing’ is what the North Korean call their Space Agency

In 2014, North Korea officially revealed a new emblem for its space agency with its blue globe, swooshed circles and a cluster of stars strikingly like the NASA’s to ‘glorify’ its status as a global force. But just as soon as it was revealed the symbol was already trying to bring back down to Earth the leader Kim Jong Un. In the midst of the fanfare, mocking criticism was easy to attract because its acronym NADA negatively translates into Spanish as ‘nothing.’ This was pointed out to be quite a rundown of the successes of the hermit nation in the space race so far.

After multiple failed attempts, North Korea managed to launch only one satellite into space, and even that is thought to have dysfunction while in orbit. And while the logo was also likened to the iconic symbol of NASA-although a cartoon version-when announcing the design, North Korea made no reference to its arch-rivals.

15. Astronauts in ISS is prohibited to have sexual intercourse regardless of how long they will be staying

The U.K.  Telegraph notes that Poindexter is now articulating what appears to be a systematic ISS policy: The International Space Station has absolutely no sex. Commanders on the International Space Station do not allow sexual intercourse. “We ‘re a team of professionals,” NASA commander Alan Poindexter said during a visit to Tokyo when asked about the repercussions if astronauts went boldly where there were no others.

“We treat each other with respect and we have a great working relationship. Personal relationships aren’t a problem,” said Mr Poindexter, who seemed serious. “We do not have them and we are not going to.”

16. A Boomerang Returned To an Astronaut When he Tried it Despite the Fact That There is no Gravity

The experiment was conducted by Takao Doi, an astronaut with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency while visiting the space station as part of NASA ‘s new space shuttle flight, scheduled to land on Wednesday. The boomerang acted no different than on Earth after it tossed back to Doi. “It just flew like on Earth and I was both shocked and impressed,” Doi told his wife in a space chat, according to Mainichi Daily News in Japan. World boomerang champion Yasuhiro Togai gave Doi a paper boomerang and asked him to attempt to throw it into space. “It was a gift,” Kumiko Tanabe, a spokesman for JAXA, told New Scientist. Togai had also offered Doi tips as to how to throw it.

The outcome is just what boomerangs research predicts, says David Caughey, an aerodynamics expert at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, United States. “The fact that it came back in the absence of gravity doesn’t shock me much,” Caughey told New Scientist. “Gravity is meaningless.” The looping paths that boomerangs are famous for are the product of uneven forces exerted by the air they pass through on the curved devices – not the effect of gravity, says Caughey.

17. Astronauts in space cannot tell if their bladder is full, they are made to relieve themselves every two hours.

NASA engineers are coming out with a new spacesuit that includes a long-term waste disposal system — an integrated toilet, in turn. Since the Apollo era, such a system has not been a part of NASA space suits, and the new waste disposal system is likely to have much in common with those used in the 1970s. Prior to Shepard ‘s flight, NASA scientists and technicians seemed to ignore the issue. Combined with a lack of resources and little crosstalk between organizations that would end up comprising NASA, the organization’s scientists often believed that during their very short missions the first astronauts would be able to “bear” this. 

Though Shepard’s spaceflight was scheduled to last only 15 minutes, due to launch delays, he spent eight hours in his spacesuit. He relieved himself in the suit during a four hour stay on the launch pad, destroying the electronic medical data sensors that were attached to his body. Following this understandable incident, NASA engineers tried to devise a way to store urine in the eventual incident that would allow potential astronauts to go while wearing their spacesuits. In fact, the agency expects astronauts to survive in their suits for up to six days — meaning the men and women would have to be able to do things like eating, urinating, and defecating without taking them off.

18. Laika, the first dog in space had died because of the overheated cabin

The Soviet Union lofted a dog named Laika on board the Sputnik 2 satellite on 3 November 1957. The milestone came less than a month after the Soviets kicked off the Space Age and the space race of the Cold War with the launch of Sputnik 1 on 4 Oct. Laika was however not the first animal in space.

The distinction goes to other fruit flies that the United States launched in February 1947 on a suborbital flight. Laika was a little stray dog plucked out of Moscow streets. Sputnik 2 was a suicide mission for the poor dog; the spacecraft was not intended to return safely to Earth.

Telemetry reports showed Laika survived the launch, according to’s Anatoly Zak. Initially, Soviet publications claimed the dog died in Earth orbit, painlessly, after a week.

Yet, over the years, this record has been called into question. “Several Russian sources reported decades later that Laika lasted four days in space, and then died when the cabin overheated,” Zak wrote. “High overheating and the dog’s death occurred just five or six hours into the mission, according to other reports.”

19. The ISS weighs 925000 pounds on Earth while almost nothing in Space

If the ISS were on Earth, it would weigh 925,000 pounds, the weight of more than 11 complete semi-trucks. Yet since it is across the Earth in free fall, it weighs almost nothing at all. The ISS flies about 250 miles above the Earth where the gravity of the planet is still very much in place (for example holding the moon in orbit).

But astronauts on the ISS experience what is called microgravity since the space station around the Earth is basically in free fall; it doesn’t crash, although it still orbits at 17,500 miles per hour, so it falls in complete alignment with the Earth’s curvature.

20. Americans who are in space can vote in elections since 1997

The voting process began in 1997—required for American astronauts to begin long-duration spaceflight — when Rule 81.35 passed in the Texas state legislature. This law states that “A person who meets a voter’s eligibility criteria under the Texas Election Code, Chapter 101, but who is on an early-voting space flight and on Election Day, can vote.”

Here’s how that law comes into effect before Election Day: An astronaut identifies for which elections he or she will be in orbit before the mission. Then, before Election Day, JSC’s Mission Control uplinks an encrypted electronic ballot to the astronauts. Using a set of unique credentials sent via e-mail to each of them, astronauts can access their ballots, cast their votes, and downlink them back to Earth at the office of the county clerks.

NASA ‘s David Wolf was the first astronaut to cast a vote in space, while he was aboard the Russian Space Station Mir in 1997. The procedure hasn’t changed much, but ballots are now being sent out to the International Space Station where flights by astronauts usually last around six months. Overall, not that different from absentee voting — the only major difference is that when astronauts fill their ballots, they mention their address as “low earth orbit.”


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