10 Fun Facts About Astronauts We Bet You Never Knew

10 Fun Facts About Astronauts We Bet You Never Knew

Apr 10, 2024Bridey Keating

We have all gazed up at the night sky and marveled at the mysteries of space. Astronauts are the daring explorers who venture into this unknown, experiencing wonders and challenges we can only dream of. But there's so much more to these space travelers than just their iconic spacewalks and moon landings.

In our latest blog post, we unveil '10 Fun Facts About Astronauts We Bet You Never Knew.' From the etymology of the word 'astronaut' to unique space rituals and surprising aspects of life beyond Earth, these tidbits will deepen your appreciation for these modern-day explorers. So, buckle up and prepare for a journey that takes you behind the scenes of what it truly means to be an astronaut.

  1. The word "astronaut" comes from the Greek words "astron nautes" , which means "star sailor."
  2. It is estimated that over 600 million people watched Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the Moon on T.V. 
  3. Guion Bluford was the first African American in space. He began as a mission specialist on the Challenger in 1983. 
  4. Sally Ride was the first American woman in space. She was also the youngest American astronaut to travel to space. 
  5. Alan Shepard became famous for hitting a golf ball while on the Moon!
  6. Astronauts wear diapers -- well technically called "Maximum Absorbency Garments." Missions are unpredictable and long, so when Astronauts can't unbuckle to go to the bathroom . . . well you get the gist. Luckily, they change their own garments. 
  7. Astronauts have to learn Russian to be on the International Space Station in order to read manuals on the Russian side, communicate and know what's going on!
  8. Exercising in space is essential for preventing bone and muscle loss. On average, astronauts exercise for two hours a day on special equipment designed for space.
  9. Astronauts can grow up to 3% taller while spending time in microgravity. When the astronauts return to earth, their height returns to normal after a few months.
  10. Apollo 16 Astronaut Charles Duke left a photograph of his wife and their two sons sitting on a bench on the Moon. He signed the back of the photograph with a message saying “’This is the family of Astronaut Duke from Planet Earth. Landed on the Moon, April 1972.’” The photograph remains to this day.