Odd Facts About NASA


Major Joe Kittinger was America’s first astronaut.

The “Mercury 13” might be a familiar name. Or perhaps you’ve heard of the FLATs, the First Lady Astronaut Trainees (Smithsonian Magazine).

Watch video of Kitterger’s jump.
spacecraft cemetery
Views of the Lunar Module LM-2 (A19711598000) as it appears in the National Air and Space Museum’s updated Milestones of Flight Gallery (Gallery 100) in Washington, DC

Grumman engineers were offered bonuses of $11,000 per pound that reduced the LEM’s gross weight. As a result, many parts of the descent stage were held together with Scotch Tape and staples.

The crew of Apollo I died in a fire on the pad.

Apollo 1, initially designated AS-204, was the first crewed mission of the United States Apollo program,[1] the undertaking to land the first man on the Moon. It was planned to launch on February 21, 1967, as the first low Earth orbital test of the Apollo command and service module. The mission never flew; a cabin fire during a launch rehearsal test at Cape Kennedy Air Force Station Launch Complex 34 on January 27 killed all three crew members—Command Pilot Gus Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee—and destroyed the command module (CM). The name Apollo 1, chosen by the crew, was made official by NASA in their honor after the fire.

Apollo 11’s 1202 Alarms were caused because Buzz Aldrin deviated from the checklist and did not turn off the rendezvous radar. He did this so they would not lose the Command Module’s position should they abort the landing. More about the 1202 Alarm.

The only watch worn on the Moon was an Omega.

Astronauts did NOT drink Tang.

By unanimous vote, the astronauts thought the “orange drink” tasted like shit. Probably because it was laced with high amounts of potassium.

Ham is not buried at Arlington

The Apollo 12 Lunar EVA checklists featured pictures from Playboy magazine See check list here.

The lives of Armstrong and Aldrin were saved when Aldrin used his pen to reset the Ascent Engine circuit breaker. It was a Fisher Model AG7E.

Fisher Pens spent $2 million to develop a pen that would work in zero gravity. The Soviets used a pencil. See proof here.

Dr. Eugene Shoemaker, the person who trained the Apollo astronauts in Lunar geology has his remains interned on the moon.

The only person to have golfed on the Moon was Commander Allen Sheppard. He sliced a six iron.

Sheppard golfing on the moon.
Apollo Saturn V
The Saturn V cost $135 Million dollars a piece.

All you Microsoft Flight Simulator pilots out there might want to know that with the exception of when Armstrong grabbed the stick at the last minute, the LEM was flown with a keyboard.

We showed you the Apollo 15 landing because it was the only LEM to crash on the Moon. The only reaction was Commander Irwin saying “BAM!” [14:28] when the Lem hits the surface. Apollo 15 had to clear a mountain range to get to their landing site and had a steeper approach than other landings. Their rate of descent was higher than they wanted.

“We did hit harder than any of the other flights! And I was startled, obviously, when I said, ‘Bam!’ (Laughing) And I think Dave didn’t particularly appreciate my comment, that he made a hard landing on the Moon!

I have been able to find estimates of the vertical speed at touchdown on five of the six landings. Neil Armstrong’s was the lowest at 1.7 feet/second because he didn’t get the engine shutdown until after the footpads were on the surface. On Apollo 12, 14, and 17, the landing speeds were all between 3.0 and 3.5 feet/second. Dave’s was by far the highest at 6.8 fps, most likely because he was the fastest to hit the engine stop button and, therefore, fell the farthest. ” -James B. Irwin

Falcon was tilted nearly 10 degrees to its back left, just 5° below the maximum acceptable angle. It set down on the rim of a crater such that its engine bell and all the landing pads were damaged, and with one of the legs in the crater.

Apollo 15 Bell Damage
Damage to the descent engine bell.
Apollo 15 damage.
Landing pad damage and stuff that fell off.

Another Lunar mishap was the launch of Apollo 16 from the Moon. When the ascent stage motor lit, it totally shredded the Mylar covering the back part of the ascent stage.