By now, you’ve probably read part one and part two in our series of 30 shocking facts about NASA, and today we’re here with part three! You might think you know everything about one of the world’s most advanced space research facilities, but you have no idea.
Number Fifteen: Stanley Kubrick. Famed filmmaker Stanley Kubrick was filming Barry Lyndon when he decided to use special lenses commissioned by NASA. The special lenses were designed for the Apollo moon landings, but Kubrick used them to capture scenes lit only by candlelight.
Number Fourteen: Inventions Galore. As a whole, NASA has invented many things that we use every day, including invisible braces and scratch resistant lenses. While these objects are surely important for space exploration, we don’t always associate things like invisible braces with outer space.
Number Thirteen: South Atlantic Anomaly. The South Atlantic Anomaly describes an area over Brazil where the magnetic field around the earth has become extremely weak. It is so big that NASA has gone to the trouble of powering down satellites that pass over the anomaly.
Number Twelve: Insurance, Or Not. The astronauts on the Apollo mission did not qualify for life insurance and were unable to be insured by NASA. They did, however, decide to sign “insurance autographs” just before they launched into space in the hopes that, if they died, the value of their insurance would become astronomical – literally.
Number Eleven: Mira. Mira is a star that is dying, but while it dies it flies around our universe dripping matter off of itself. NASA has taken to calling it “The Johnny Appleseed of the Universe” because of the way it is currently shedding matter like little apple seeds.
Number Ten: Lost Landing. Though the moon landing is one of the most iconic moments in history, NASA actually taped over the original footage. However, it is unclear what exactly was taped over the footage, although we imagine it is important.
Number Nine: Mars Mission Time. NASA estimates that the time to get to Mars can be shortened to a period of days very soon. This shortened travel time can be attributed to the development of a new engine.
Number Eight: John Aaron. John Aaron was a NASA flight controller who saved Apollo 12 and Apollo 13. He was able to save the Apollo 13 crew members by developing a unique power-up sequence for the aircraft. Stay tuned for part four of 30 shocking facts about NASA, coming soon!