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Five facts about space travel you never knew

UNITED KINGDOM | Tuesday, 8 January 2019 | Views [50]

(Astronaut weightless space universe via Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/astronaut-weightless-space-universe-1784245/)


Looking back over the countless expeditions, invasions and methods of travel, it’s clear that exploration is in mankind’s DNA. To our ancestors, the gulf of an ocean would have seemed as uncrossable as a solid gold football, capturing their imagination with the mystery of what, if anything, was beyond it. So much so, that we invented the rowing boat, then the ship, then the plane. Now, with the world being smaller than ever, humans have turned their explorative imaginations to space. But did you know we’ve come along way since the space-racing sixties. Some scientists are dreaming of off-world living within a hundred years, which might be crucial given the current state of the planet. Here are five interesting facts about space travel that you might not have known about.


  1. Space Scran - The astronaut’s diet looks more like that of a devout buddhist than anything else. Due to a lack of space, astronauts are only given around 3.8 pounds of food a day, all of which is pre-packaged nutritional pouches. Fresh food cannot be stored as it would go off too quickly, so instead astronauts are confined to microwave meals. They do however have a surplus of condiments meaning that if the food is too bland they can always splash some ketchup or mustard on it.


  1. Toilet Tension - In 1998, the first Russian and American joint venture to space was successfully launched. The international space station is still orbiting the earth and feels like something from an episode of star-trek than reality. However, tensions rose in the space station as the russian astronauts’ diet included such delicacies as jellied fish. After blocking the space stations toilet, the American’s banned russians from using their toilet.


  1. Bullets in Orbit - Looking through the oceans, streets or hillsides you’ll most likely come across some form of litter. As we ascend the atmosphere, it seems we really can’t help ourselves. There are currently over 500,000 pieces of space junk being tracked in orbit, with millions more too small to track. The majority of this junk is meteoroids, broken satellites and parts. Items in orbit travel at over 17,500 mph, making them ten times faster than a bullet, as a result the threat of space debris collision is something that organisations like NASA take very seriously.


  1. Asteroid Farming - as technology has progressed, space organisations have turned their attention to the benefits of minerals in asteroids. The economic and environmental potential for mining asteroids could be huge but it’s not without immense difficulty. The speeds of asteroids travelling through space make it incredibly dangerous and troublesome to land equipment or people on them, meaning we may be some time before space minerals are traded on earth.

  2. Insurance - finally, the early astronauts were unable to get life insurance due to the danger of their missions. This was extremely worrying for those with families. In response to this, astronauts used their celebrity status to their advantage and left their families with autographed photos to sell on in the case of their death. The clever yet depressing thing about this is that the photos would multiply in value following their death.

Tags: space, space travel

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