The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is one of the biggest and best known scientific organizations in the world. First established in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, it has become a hugely important research center and arguably one of the largest contributors to human knowledge and exploration. With an annual budget of almost $20 billion, the civilian agency carried out aeronautics and aerospace research, as well as its more famous space exploration missions.
It became famous during the 1960s and 1970s thanks to the Apollo missions that aimed to put a man on the Moon for the very first time and has since focused its efforts on leading other projects to send spacecraft and astronauts into space. This has included the likes of the design and creation of the Space Shuttle, helping to develop the International Space Station, sending out unmanned craft to probe other planets and bodies in the solar system, as well as launching new missions to explore space.
As it has such a long history, in addition to the sheer number of different projects it has worked on, there are plenty of things that people don’t know about NASA. These range from some of the people who have worked there, amazing inventions they were responsible for and bizarre quirks of the agency that simply baffle those who aren’t aware of them.
10 Armageddon Is Used As Training
9 They Once Sent A Bonsai Tree Into Space
8 It Has Its Own Weather System
7 Astronauts Struggle To Get Life Insurance
6 They Created The Technology For Lifeshears
5 And Invented Memory Foam
4 There Is An Office For Planetary Protection
3 It Actually Has A Small Budget
2 They Lost A $125 Million Satellite Due To A Mistake
1 They Paid Subjects To Lie Down For 70 Days
As part of a study looking into the effects of lying down without moving for extended periods of time, NASA paid a test subject $18,000 to simply lay in bed for 70 days. Drew Iwanicki was the successful applicant for the research and he travelled to Texas to begin in 2015. He had to lie still in the bed in a very specific position while also maintaining a strict sleep routine and diet. However, he was allowed to leave the bed if he needed the toilet and to wash, making the overall experience less stressful.
Sources: forbes.com, smithsonianmag.com, nasa.gov, universetoday.com, businessinsider.com
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