General / Fun Facts about Astronauts You Might Not Know

Fun Facts about Astronauts You Might Not Know

Updated on September 21, 2022 | by Alex Smith

Astronauts

This might not be one of the fun facts about astronauts, but you should know that years of training are necessary before you are allowed to travel into space. You must pass many difficult exams, and endure intense physical training that you might not be able to finish and engage in psychological activities. But when this hard part is over, there’s some fun. So, what are 10 fun facts about astronauts? Let’s find out.

Fun Fact #1: Men Outnumber Women

One of the fun facts about female astronauts is there are fewer women in the space workforce because women have a lower tolerance for space radiation exposure than men. Experts from NASA claim that being exposed to space radiation for a long time increases the risk of getting cancer.

Fun Fact #2: Yuri Gagarin was the First Man in Space

A list with fun facts about astronauts wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the first man who ever went into space. It was Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin who traveled on the Vostok 1 on April 12, 1961. Gagarin completed a 108-minute lap of our globe at 27,400 km/h speed.

Fun Fact #3: You Can’t Take a Shower in Space

Space grooming is also included on this list of fun facts about astronauts. Since practically all water used for drinking in orbit is transported from Earth, crew members must ration this valuable resource carefully. So, they use a moist towel to lather up rather than having a shower.

Fun Fact #4: Astronauts Must Wear Nappies

This might be included in the category of fun facts about astronauts for kids, but even adults should know that astronauts wear special nappies known as MAGs when going on a short-term expedition, even though most spacecraft vehicles also have zero-gravity restrooms for extended voyages.

Fun Fact #5: Suited-up Astronauts Can’t Burn

Orbital Today included astronauts’ suits on this list with facts about astronauts because it’s very interesting to find out that these suits don’t burn or melt when contacted by flames, as they are made of synthetic materials that are resistant to extreme heat.

Fun Fact #6: Russians Developed a Special Suit for Surviving Outside the Station

This Russian Orlan space suit design enables one to spend over seven hours away from a space station when performing maintenance or installing new equipment they get from Earth. There are under 0.4 atmospheres of pressure inside the Orlan suit.

Fun Fact #7: Astronauts Train Underwater for Spacewalks

Another on the list of fun facts about astronauts is that training for spacewalking takes place underwater. According to NASA, floating creates a sense of weightlessness, so scientists believe this training is most effective when conducting tests while on Earth.

Fun Fact #8: Russia has Armed Astronauts

Russian astronauts were sent into space with weapons to keep pilots safe. Pilots can’t fight themselves if there happens to be an animal assault after landing either in a forest or desert area, so their team members are supposed to be their guards. 

Fun Fact #9: Alan Shepard Played Space Golf

Astronaut Alan Shepard, one of the Apollo 14 mission crew members, played some golf after getting to the Moon. His ball was hit so far out when he did the third swing that no one can find it as of now.

Fun Fact #10: The Heart of an Astronaut is Different

The last fun facts about astronauts on our list refer to the shape of astronauts’ hearts, which become approximately 10% more spherical after extended space flight. Scientists believe this happens because of microgravity. 

Fun Facts About Astronauts: FAQ

Now that the 10 fun facts about astronauts in space have been revealed let’s see which are the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Will we all get to see space one day?

The facts listed above are meant to teach us the most interesting things about what’s happening in space. Since widespread space tourism doesn’t seem too far from becoming a reality, we might all be space travelers one day, so we must know what this entails ahead.

What can astronauts not do?

Some activities that space doesn’t allow are drinking soda, writing with pens that we normally use on Earth, or sleeping according to how the Sun sets. Drinking alcohol in space is not permitted either.

What food isn’t allowed in space?

Bread is one type of food that’s not allowed in space because its structure and shelf life are not adapted to space conditions. Because of microgravity, salt and pepper in granular form can’t be consumed either. Luckily, NASA developed these ingredients in liquid form.