? Bill Pogue
1. What was the first living creature to orbit the Earth in a man-made spacecraft?
A Russian dog named Laika, aboard Sputnik 2, Nov 3, 1957. See Q 407.
Laika is Russian for “Barker” or “Husky” and it is also the name of a breed of small dogs. Her name had been Kudryavka (Little Curly) until just before flight. It has never been clear why her name was changed. When the Russians were too slow to release the name of the dog (Laika) the media gave her the temporary name, Mutnik.
2. What booster rocket was used to launch John Glenn into orbit in 1962?
A modified Atlas, a U. S. Air Force Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). 3. How many U.S. crews landed on the Moon during the Apollo program?
Six two-man crews landed on the Moon. Apollo missions 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17. 4. What is the largest living organism visible from Earth orbit?
The Great Barrier Reef. (It lies off the NE coast of Australia and is living coral.)5. Which astronaut served as U.S. ambassador to Norway after leaving NASA?
William A. (Bill) Anders (Apollo 8). He was ambassador to Norway from 1976-77. 6. What is used as a reflective coating on the space suit helmet visor?
7. Who discovered the Earth’s radiation belts?
Dr. James van Allen, University of Iowa physicist, using data from Explorer 1 (1958). See Q 635.
8. Who is the only astronaut who made space flights on all five of the Shuttles?
9. Which two planetariums were used to train astronauts for the Apollo program?
The Morehead Planetarium (University of North Carolina) and the Griffith Observatory planetarium, Los Angeles, California.
10. What organization adopted the first rules to govern the award of official records for space flights?
The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), at Barcelona, Spain on October 7, 1960.11. Who was the only astronaut to fly in Mercury, Gemini and Apollo spacecraft?
Walter M. (Wally) Schirra, Jr. He flew on Mercury 8, Gemini 6, and Apollo 7.12. Which Shuttle never made it into orbit?
The Enterprise. It was used for the Approach and Landing Test program in 1977. See Q 227, 333.The Enterprise is now at the Dulles facility of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.13. Who launched the first liquid propellant rocket?
Dr. Robert H. Goddard (March 16, 1926) at Auburn, Massachusetts.
14. Who were the first mice to encounter weightlessness?
Amy, Sally and Moe (October 13, 1960, aboard an Atlas rocket for 20 minutes of zero-g). 15. How many orbits did John Glenn make on his first space flight?
16. Who was the first paying passenger on a space flight?
Toyohiro Akiyama, a Japanese journalist sponsored by his television network (for $10 million). He spent a week aboard the Russian Mir space station in December 1990.
17. In what building at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, were the Mercury astronuats’ crew quarters located?
18. What was the first American space mission to make an emergency return from space?
Gemini 8. An attitude control rocket stuck “ON”, causing the spacecraft to tumble wildly. Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott disabled the primary attitude rockets by pulling circuit breakers and activated the reentry attitude rockets to stop the tumble. The situation forced them to make a premature return to Earth.
19. Who was the first non-NASA astronaut to fly in space on the Shuttle?
Actually, there were two. Byron Lichtenberg (U.S.) and Wulf Merbold (Netherlands) flew as Payload Specialists on the first launch of the European-built Spacelab (Columbia, STS-9, November
1983). See sidebar, Titles for Spacefarers.
Titles for Spacefarers
The terms, astronaut and cosmonaut are synonymous and are used for people who have been
selected to train to fly in space or who have flown in space. It just so happened that the U. S. chose the term, astronaut (although the term, cosmonaut, was considered) and the Russians chose the term, cosmonaut to describe the profession of space travelers. NASA breaks down the astronaut crew title into
three other categories: Pilot (& Commander), Mission Specialist and Payload Specialist.
Pilot/Commander (Plt/Cdr): A career astronaut selected by NASA to serve as Pilot and (later) Commander of the Shuttle.
Mission Specialist (MS): A career astronaut selected by NASA to perform technical/scientific work and operational tasks such as space walks and operation of the robot arm (RMS or SRMS).
See Q 213.
Payload Specialist (PS): An astronaut selected by a non-NASA sponsor to fly a space mission because of outstanding knowledge or skill related to a specific discipline, instrument or facility provided by the sponsor. A PS may also be selected because of political status or to enhance U. S. diplomatic ties. (See Q 22, 191). The PS does not compete in a NASA astronaut selection but is trained to have a safe level of knowledge of Shuttle systems and operations. Normally a PS makes only one flight into space. However, one PS made three Shuttle flights. See Q. 327.
Guest Cosmonaut (GC): The Russian’s GC designation is similar to our PS.
20. How many space flights are each of the Shuttles designed to make?
21. Which U.S. program was the first to provide private radio calls for astronauts and their families?
Skylab. Every third day a 4-6 minute call was arranged.
22. Who was the first in-office politician to fly in space?
U.S. Senator, Jake Garn (Utah) flew aboard Shuttle mission 51D in April 1985.23. Who was the first woman to be awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor?
Shuttle Mission Specialist Shannon W. Lucid. She was cited for “extraordinary service to the nation” which encompassed five Shuttle missions and a 188-day stay aboard the Mir space station.24. Who was the first person to do a space walk from a U.S. spacecraft?
Edward H. (Ed) White II, Gemini 4, June 1965.
25. When was the first 3-man crew launched into space?
October 12, 1964. Cosmonauts Kamarov, Feoktistov and Yegorov aboard Voskhod 1. 26. Shuttle missions are now designated as STS-88, for example. What does STS stand for?
Space Transportation System.
27. What color is the sky in space (looking away from the Earth)?
28 Who was the first American to go into space (above 50 miles)?
Alan B. (Al) Shepard, Jr., on Mercury 3 (May 5, 1961). Robert M. (Bob) White was the first X-15 pilot to fly into space (July 17, 1962).
29. What are the names of the five Shuttles that have flown in space?
Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour.
30. What is the name of the Japanese winged space vehicle designed for space flight research?
31. What was the name of the disintegrated comet that collided with the planet Jupiter in 1995?
Shoemaker-Levy 9, (If you said Shoemaker or Levy count it correct.) See Q 134.32. Which Shuttle astronaut was born in China?
Shannon W. Lucid, born January 14, 1943 in Shanghai.
33. How much weight does a typical astronaut lose during the first three days in space?
About three pounds (Earth equivalent), due principally to fluid (water) loss. On Skylab a Body Mass Measurement Device (BMMD) was first used to determine body mass (or weight).
34. Why will a space suit, custom tailored on Earth, fit too tight in weightlessness?
People become taller in space. See sidebar, Space Stretch.
In zero-g or weightlessness a person’s spine will lengthen 1.5 to 2 inches making them 3% taller. This causes a tight fit around the shoulders if allowances aren’t provided. This increase in body length was first documented on Skylab 4 (1973), when we made the first complete set of body measurements. The spinal lengthening occurs because the discs between the vertebrae expand in the absence of compression load or weight. Height or body length returns to normal after the space flight. On Earth a similar but not as pronounced effect occurs during a full night’s sleep (the overnight stretch is approximately ? inch).
35. What is the name of the British scientist who formulated the theory of gravitation?
Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727).
36. Which Earth-launched satellite was the first to leave our solar system?
Pioneer 10. It was launched in March 1972 and, on 13 June 1983 it crossed the orbit of Pluto, the outermost planet known to exist in the solar system. See Q 637, 767.
“It remains only to perform certain necessary preliminary experiments before an apparatus can be constructed that will carry recording instruments to any desired altitude.” Dr. Robert H. Goddard, 1920.
37. What is the White Room?
The White Room is a room on the Rotating Service Structure (RSS) and provides entry to the Shuttle spacecraft. It has special entrances and stringent rules to prevent contamination of the spacecraft. See Q 83 Sidebar, and Q 202, 468, 700.
38. Where is the control center for all NASA planetary and deep space probes?
At NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
39. Apollo astronauts trained for Moon landings using the LLTV. What does LLTV stand for?
Lunar Landing Training Vehicle. The LLTV, built by Bell Aerospace, was dubbed the “flying bedstead” or “pipe rack” and was powered by jet and rocket engines.
(Photo: LLTV [flying bedstead] – NASA File #: S68 54486 & S70-30534 [Courtesy NASA])40. What piece of aircraft flight gear was used as a model for the astronauts’ Snoopy Cap?
The British Royal Air Force (RAF) cloth helmet (circa 1968).
In November 1968, Jim Lovell of the Apollo 8 crew reported an irritating problem with the lightweight headsets developed for Apollo. They were so light that when moving around the cabin of the Command Module the cable from the Intercom box tended to snag on structure and rip the headset off. He asked if anyone had an idea. I told him about the RAF cloth helmet and Jim asked if I could get him one.
I called Mavis Lear a friend I had flown with while on exchange with the RAF. She sent me a helmet immediately by express delivery and Jim gave it to the NASA people to use as a model for what became known as the “Snoopy Cap.” Jim was so grateful that he sent Mavis a picture of the first “Earthrise” photographed from the Moon, signed by Frank Borman, Bill Anders and Jim.
(Photo: Snoopy Cap – S-69-34485, NASA File # S91-36104 [Courtesy NASA])
41. To what ambient (space vacuum) temperature extremes are astronauts exposed while on space walks in Earth orbit?
The temperature ranges from -250? F (-150? C) in the dark to +250? F (120? C) in direct
42. Which Apollo astronaut landed on the Moon twice?
None did! (Sorry ‘bout that.).
43. On what planet will astronaut explorers have to cope with dust storms?
Mars. The winds on Mars can whip up to over 100 miles per hour.
44. Who was the first married couple to fly on the same space crew?
Astronauts Mark C. Lee and Jan N. Davis. They were married during their training for Shuttle mission STS-47 and worked different shifts during their 8-day Spacelab mission (12-20 September 1992).45. Who wrote the first poem sent into space?
Thomas Burger. The poem, “Space Prober” was placed aboard the Traac satellite. (November 15, 1961).
46. Who was the first person to release a satellite from a spacecraft?
Astronaut Gordon Cooper (Mercury 9-Faith 7, May 1963). Gordo released a 6” sphere that had a strobe light beacon for a visual tracking test.
47. For whom is the Johnson Space Center (JSC) named?
Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th president of the U.S.
48. What officer in charge of rocket sled tests (in the 1950s) served as the test subject?
USAF Colonel John P. Stapp. He rode a sled at 635 m.p.h. (1,017 km per hour) in 1955.49. Which spacecraft had the first “sit-on” toilet?
Skylab. It had a seat belt to hold you down and a “rear view” mirror to check for spills.50. What were the first living creatures recovered from Earth orbit?
Two dogs named Strelka (Little Arrow) and Belka (Squirrel) aboard the Sputnik 5 recovery module (April 20, 1960). Rats, mice, flies, plants, fungi and seeds, accompanied them.51. What does the term TAL site refer to?
Transatlantic Abort Landing site: These are airports especially outfitted to accommodate a
Shuttle landing, if a problem occurs during launch? See Q 521.
52. Which crew suggested the nickname “Humpty Dumpty” for their launch booster rocket?
Skylab 4 (third crew). See sidebar, The Last Laugh.
The Last Laugh
Numerous cracks were discovered in the fins of our Skylab 4 booster, delaying launch. Then other cracks were discovered in the truss-work connecting the stages. After the fins were replaced (and the other cracks declared non-hazardous), we suggested (as a gag) the name, “Humpty Dumpty” for the Saturn I B booster. The launch pad crew didn’t think it was very funny. They got even the next day and had the last laugh. Just before launch they sent a message that read, “To the crew of Skylab 4, good luck and Godspeed, signed, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men.”
53. What organization has first claim to all U.S. space-flown artifacts, excluding personal property of astronauts?
The Smithsonian Institution.
54. What was the first mission directed by the Mission Control Center (MCC) at Houston?
Gemini 4, June, 1965. Previously, control was directed from a concrete blockhouse at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
55. What does NASDA stand for?
The National Space Development Agency of Japan (Japan’s counterpart to NASA). 56. What is the name of the Russian launch center for manned space flights?
57. In the 20th century which astronaut had to wait the longest to get a space flight?
Don L. Lind. Don was selected in April 1966 and flew on Shuttle mission 51B in April 1985, a patient wait of 19 years.
58. How does a person qualify to join the Association of Space Explorers?
Under current rules, any person who has made one complete orbit of the Earth can join. 59. Which satellite relayed the opening of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics?
Syncom 3. August 19, 1964.
60. Who was the first astronaut to broadcast a live message to radio and TV listeners below?
Wally Schirra, Mercury 8, Sigma 7, October 1962.
61. What is the “X Prize”?
A prize of $10 million. It goes to the first private organization to fly to 100 kilometers (62 miles) altitude with a pilot and two passengers (or equivalent), return to Earth safely and repeat the feat within two weeks. The spacecraft must be privately financed and designed. The prize is offered by the X Prize organization in St. Louis, Missouri.
62. Are Russian spacecraft capable of landing on water?
Yes. However, they greatly prefer a land recovery because a water (sea or ocean) recovery requires such a large area for their recovery forces to accommodate. See Q 287.63. What is the name of the first element that was launched to begin assembly of the International Space Station (ISS)?
Zarya, meaning Dawn (or Sunrise). It is also referred to as the FGB (Functional Cargo Block) and Control Module. It was built in Russia (paid for by the U. S.) and launched in November 1999 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
64. Astronaut Gordon Cooper flew the final Mercury mission. What was his nickname?
Gordo. He had to backup the automatic control system due to an electrical short circuit and he controlled the spacecraft attitude manually for retrofire and reentry. Incidentally, Gordo was the last astronaut to fly an entire mission solo.
In responding to critics who questioned the need for human crewmembers, a NASA manager responded, “… the success of the mission may well depend upon the actions of the pilot: either in his performance of primary functions or backup functions.” Dr. George Low, 1959.
65. The large water tank at the Johnson Space Center, Houston (used to train crews for space walks) is named for whom?
Sonny Carter (Manley L. Carter, Jr.), Shuttle astronaut on STS-33. Astronaut Carter died in the crash of a commercial airliner on April 5, 1991.
66. Before Shuttle, which manned program launched the most spacecraft in the shortest time?
Gemini. Ten manned missions in 20 months.
67. Which crew built a Christmas tree from onboard hardware scraps?
The Skylab 4 crew. In December 1973, Jerry Carr, Ed Gibson and I assembled used food cans for the trunk/stem of the tree and attached various metal parts for the limbs and ornaments, including an aluminum foil comet that Ed made for a tree topper (to symbolize our investigation of the Comet Kohoutek). See Q 306 Sidebar.
68. Who was the first person to fly into space in both Russian and American spacecraft?
Russian Cosmonaut/Astronaut Sergei Krikalev. He flew on Soyuz TM-7 [November 1988]; Soyuz TM-12 [May 1991], STS-60 [January 1994] and STS-88 [December 1998]. In November 2000 he was a member of the first crew to operate the International Space Station.
69. Which space traveler carried the first letter into space?
Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. He carried a letter for Cosmonaut Physician V.V. Parin (which Parin had written to his wife, but addressed to himself). The cover of this letter is displayed in a Russian museum.
70. What is the meaning of the NASA initials, “PPK”?
It stands for Personal Preference Kit and is a small bag containing personal artifacts/mementos that astronauts are permitted to carry on space flights.
71. What life form jeopardized the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) while it was in the Shuttle payload bay awaiting launch?
Insects. Mosquitoes, wasps and moths were a constant threat to contaminate the 94-inch mirror of the HST.
72. What is the official language for all aspects of the International Space Station?
73. Who invented the rocket?
The Chinese (invention credited to Feng Jishen, 970 AD). The first written account (1232 AD), describes military uses (to frighten the enemy).
74. What was the name of the first chimpanzee to orbit the Earth?
Enos. He made two orbits on November 29, 1961 in the final Mercury-Atlas orbital test prior to manned flights.
(Photo of Enos: NASA File # S61-4398 [Courtesy NASA])
75. As compared to their appearance from Earth how do stars appear when viewed from space?
They don't twinkle and are a bit brighter.
76. What booster rocket was used to launch Gemini spacecraft?
Titan II, modified from an air force ICBM.
77. How long was the umbilical (suit hose) for the first U.S. space-walk (Ed White, Gemini 4)?
78. Which astronauts made two journeys to the Moon (name one)?
Jim Lovell, (Apollo 8 and 13), John Young (Apollo 10 and 16) and Gene Cernan (Apollo 10 and 17).
“This foolish idea of shooting at the Moon is an example of the absurd length to which vicious specialization will carry scientists. To escape the Earth’s gravitation a projectile needs a velocity of 7 miles per second. The thermal energy at this speed is 15,180 calories. Hence, the proposition appears to be basically impossible.” Professor W. Bickerton, 1926.
79. Who was the first American woman to do a space-walk (perform extravehicular activity or EVA)?
Kathryn D. (Kathy) Sullivan, Shuttle Mission 41G, October, 1984.
80. What aircraft do the Shuttle astronauts use to train for Shuttle approaches and landings?
The STA (Shuttle Training Aircraft), a heavily modified twin jet Grumman Gulfstream II.81. The mouth of what major river is located at the Earth’s equator?
The Amazon river of Brazil.
82. What is an ASCAN?
ASCAN is an abbreviation for AStronaut CANdidate, their classification after selection.. After
their first year of successful training ASCANs are then designated astronauts.
83. What astronauts had the title STONEY during the Gemini and Apollo programs?
The astronauts assigned to the launch control team in Florida. See sidebar, Countdown.
The term, STONEY, came from one of the Mercury launch engineers named Bill Stone but later became a title. Later in the Apollo program, STONEY checked out all the pad safety provisions for the crew and, just before launch, controlled the elevator(s) that the crew rode up to the White Room level before boarding the spacecraft. STONEY also gave the crew a personal countdown to ignition.
I was STONEY for the Apollo 11 launch. Neil Armstrong instructed me, “I don’t want you to call ignition ‘til you see the fire” (instead of making the call based on the predicted time of ignition). A view of the engines was relayed to a TV screen on my console from a television camera below and to the side of the engines. The camera lasted just long enough to give me a good view of the engines as they lit up and before the video camera was incinerated. See Q 37, 202, 468
84. What aircraft do astronauts use for flying proficiency and transportation to other NASA work locations?
The Norair (Northrop) T-38 Talon, a jet trainer. Non-pilot astronauts are trained to fly as second crewmembers and frequently accompany pilots on trips necessary for their work.
85. When exposed to zero-g how much will an average person’s waist measurement decrease?
Approximately three inches (7.5 centimeters).
86. Which astronaut became president of Eastern Airlines?
Frank F. Borman II (Gemini 7 and Apollo 8).
87. What NASA insignia was known as the “WORM”?
The crawling graphic that spelled out the letters NASA. The worm was disliked by many within
NASA including a lot of astronauts and, in 1992, was replaced by an earlier NASA design called the Vector logo. The Vector logo was derived from an earlier similar design called the Meatball. In fact,
many still refer to the Vector logo as the Meatball. Their general appearance is the same.(Photo of the Worm, NASA File # S75-31690, Meatball [no photo], and Vector, NASA File # S63-
88. What was the name of the Soviet chief space designer in the 1950s and 60s?
Sergei P. Korolev.
Chief Designer Korolev’s identity was a closely held state secret because the Soviet leaders were afraid he would be targeted for assassination if the West found out who was leading the Russian space effort. His identity was revealed only after he died in January 1966.
89. What was the original name of the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, where the astronauts are based?
The Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC).
90. What was the name of the secret project that brought Dr. Wernher von Braun and his rocket design team to the U.S. after World War II?
91. Who conceived and implemented the first Space Camp??
Mr. Edward Buckbee. Now called the U.S. Space Camp?, first located in Huntsville, AL.
92. What drag device was added to the Shuttles to decrease the landing roll-out distance?
Drag chutes. First use by the Shuttle was in 1992.
93. To date (January 2003) how many astronauts have been elected to the U.S. Senate?
Two, John H. Glenn, Jr. (Ohio) and Harrison H. (Jack) Schmitt (New Mexico).94. Which astronaut died during a climb of Mt. Everest?
Dr. Karl Henize, on October 5, 1993. Shuttle astronaut Henize flew aboard mission 51-F (July 1985). See Q 377.
95. How many pieces of man-made space debris are orbiting around the Earth?
Over 8,000 pieces larger than a baseball and millions of tiny pieces. See Table 1, Litterbugs.
Size Number of Objects% of Total Mass % of Total Number
greater than 10 cm (4”) 8,00099.93% 0.02%
1 – 10 cm (0.04 “– 4.0”) 110,000 0.035% 0.31%
0.1 – 1 cm (0.04” – 0.4”) 35,000,000 0.035% 99.67%
Total 35,118,000 100% (200 tons) 100%
96. Who contributed most of the land where the Johnson Space Center (JSC) was built?
Rice University, Houston, Texas (from a tract donated to Rice by the Humble Oil Company).97. Which astronaut of the 20th century had the longest name?
Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, of Saudi Arabia (Shuttle mission 51-G, June
98. Where did the Russians get most of the dogs used for test subjects in rocket tests and space flights?
They picked up stray mongrels off the streets of Moscow.
99. At what airfield are the astronauts’ aircraft based?
Ellington Field near Pasadena, Texas.
100. Who formed the first space camp outside the U. S.?
Patrick Baudry, a French astronaut (Shuttle mission 51-G), opened a space camp in France. 101. Where is the Russian mission control center?
At Kaliningrad, north of Moscow.
102. What is the name of the complex where the cosmonauts live and train?
Zvezdniy Gorodok (Star City) approximately 25 miles northeast of Moscow.103. Why were gypsy moths taken into space on Skylab?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture had hopes to develop a sterile strain of moths to neutralize the destructive effects of the insect on Earth.
104. From what country are cosmonauts launched?
Kazakhstan, a republic of the former Soviet Union, but now an independent country.105. What was the name of the Russian shuttle spacecraft?
Buran. In Russian, it means snowstorm or blizzard. It is now an exhibit in a playground park.
106. During what year was the first satellite, Sputnik 1, launched into Earth orbit?
1957 (October 4). Sputnik is a combination of words meaning, “fellow-traveler of Earth.”
Commenting on Sputnik 1 and 2: “The satellite is little more than a scientific gimmick.” Richard van der Riet Woolley, British Astronomer Royal, 1957
(Photo of Sputnik 1 [Soviet mockup display at Paris Air Show] NASA File # S76-22361)107. What was Astronaut Virgil I. Grissom’s nickname?
108. What does NASA stand for?
National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
109. Dr. C.C. (Chris) Kraft was in charge of the Mission Control Center during the Mercury, Gemini and most of the Apollo program. What do the initials C. C. stand for?
110. What year did NASA first start testing women to become astronauts?
1959. The project, sometimes referred to by the code name FLATS (First Lady Astronauts), was
kept secret for three years and then dropped.
111. Who flew the first Shuttle into orbit?
John W. Young and Robert L. (Bob) Crippen, Columbia (STS-1), April 12, 1981.112. What was the name of the very first communications satellite?
ECHO 1, launched August 12, 1960. It was a 100-foot metallic coated inflated sphere used to reflect (bounce) radio signals between ground stations. Transmissions were made between the U.S. and England. Because if its size, ECHO 1 was the first man-made satellite visible to ground observers.113. What was the name of the first joint American/Russian manned space mission?
Apollo Soyuz Test Project, referred to as ASTP by the U.S. and SATP (Soyuz Apollo Test Project) by the Russians. It was flown in July 1975.
114. Which astronaut orbited the Moon during the first lunar landing by Armstrong and Aldrin?
Michael (Mike) Collins.
115. What was the name given to the first Lunar Module (LM) to land on the Moon?
Eagle, the LM flown by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
116. Who took the first musical instruments into space?
Wally Schirra (a tiny harmonica) and Tom Stafford (small bells), Gemini 6A, December 1967. See sidebar, Mysterious Polar Orbiter.
Mysterious Polar Orbiter
Several hours after separating from Gemini 7, following the first rendezvous in space, Gemini 6A astronaut, Tom Stafford reported excitedly about a satellite going north to south and apparently ready to
reenter. He got the attention of Frank Borman and Jim Lovell in the Gemini 7 spacecraft who began looking for this visitor.
Then Wally played Jingle Bells using the harmonica while Tom Stafford jingled the bells in front of the microphone. It was December 15, 1965, ten days early for Santa, but the spirit of Christmas had come to space nevertheless.
117. Which American astronaut amassed the most time in space during the 20th century?
Mission Specialist Shannon W. Lucid. (Just over 5,351 hours in Shuttles and the Mir space station.)
118. What item of Russian space food was shared by Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov with Astronauts Tom Stafford and Donald K. (Deke) Slayton after the historic first docking between Russian and American spacecraft (Apollo-Soyuz, 1975)?
Borscht (a paste of beet soup contained in a tube).
119. The Shuttle Endeavour was named after the ship of what British explorer?
Captain James Cook who led an extensive exploration of the Pacific Ocean (18th century).120. Who was the first person to orbit the Earth for more than a day?
Cosmonaut Gherman Titov (just over 24 hours on Vostok 2, August 6, 1961). He flew at age 25, still the youngest person to go into space (as of 1 January 2003).
121. Which astronaut holds the record for the most hours on space walks (EVAs) in the 20th century?
Jerry L. Ross (His cumulative time on space-walks was over 44 hours on seven EVAs). See Q 510.
122. Which Apollo mission had one of their three landing parachutes fail during descent?
Apollo 15. The splashdown was a bit rougher than normal, but no one was injured.123. Who was the pilot who invented the first pressure suit (needed for high altitude flight)?
Wiley Post. In 1934 he flew to 50,000’ and in the process encountered the jet stream.
Although Post wasn’t the first to discover the jet stream, he was the first to make practical use of it to set speed records. In 1935 he flew from Burbank, California to Cleveland, Ohio averaging 280 miles per hour, almost 100 miles per hour faster than the maximum speed of his aircraft in still air. (Photo of Post in suit: Photo courtesy of ConocoPhillips [credit required]) Ed. Note: ConocoPhillips
doesn’t have a space or hyphen. between the lower case “o” and upper case “P.”124. Which astronaut changed his name (legally) after leaving the space program?
Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin legally changed his given name to Buzz.
125. What is the speed of the crawler-transporter as it carries the Shuttle to the launch pad?
One mile per hour. Even so, the driver must wear a seat belt. Note: The speed up the 5-degree incline at the launch pad is ? mile per hour and top speed when empty is 2 miles per hour.
(Photo of CT with Shuttle: NASA File # S93-29849 [Courtesy NASA])
126. How much does it cost to ferry the Shuttle from Edwards Air Force Base, California to the Shuttle Landing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida?
$ 750 thousand to $1 million dollars. I’ve seen both figures quoted.
“I do not think it is at all probable that aeronautics will ever come into play as a serious modification of transport and communication.” H.G. Wells (early science fiction author), 1902.
(Photo of Shuttle on Carrier Aircraft: NASA File # S83-44636 [Courtesy NASA])127. An airstrip on the Cape Canaveral Air Force station, used as an auxiliary landing field during the early space program, was originally called the Skid Strip. How did the name Skid Strip
It was constructed at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the early 1950s as a landing site for pilotless jet-powered Snark and Navaho winged cruise missiles some of which made remotely-controlled landings by sliding (skidding) in on the runway (They had skids as landing gear.). 128. Who was the first African American Shuttle Commander?
Frederick D. (Fred) Gregory. He commanded STS-33 in November 1989.
129. Who was the first woman to fly as Pilot on the Shuttle?
Eileen M. Collins. Selected as a Pilot Astronaut in 1990, she flew as Shuttle Pilot on STS-63 (February 1995), STS-84 (May 1997) and as commander of STS-93 in July 1999.
130. Which crew was the first to transfer from one space station to another?
Cosmonauts Leonid Kizim and Vladimir Solovyev (from Mir to Salyut 7, 1986, using the Soyuz T-15 spacecraft).
131. How long does it take to orbit the Earth (under 300 miles altitude)?
Approximately 90 minutes (roughly 50 minutes in sunlight and 40 minutes in darkness).132. What multi-purpose tool did all Skylab astronauts carry in their pockets?
A Swiss Army Knife.
133. What was the first word transmitted back to Earth from the Moon’s surface? Who spoke it?
Houston (spoken by Neil Armstrong). See sidebar, First Base.
Neil Armstrong’s full transmission was, "Houston, Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed." spoken, just after touchdown. The site of their landing was in the Sea of Tranquility, a large, relatively
flat area near the center of the Moon's face, as we view it from Earth. Early astronomers who examined the Moon with telescopes noted large features that appeared relatively flat as compared to the surrounding surface features that looked like hilly or mountainous Earth features. They called the flat features, “mare” (pronounced mar’-eh), Latin for “sea”.
Dr. Lee DeForest…predicted today that man will never reach the Moon, “regardless of all future scientific advances” … “To place a man in a multi-stage rocket and project him into the controlling gravitational field of the Moon,… perhaps land alive and then return to the Earth - all that constitutes a wild dream worthy of Jules Verne.” Dr. Lee De Forest, “father of radio”, San Francisco Chronicle 25 February 1957.
134. Cremated remains of what geologist were taken to the Moon on the Lunar Prospector spacecraft?
Dr. Eugene Shoemaker, instrumental in geology training of Apollo astronauts. See Q 31. 135. Who were the first U.S. astronauts to be taught Russian by NASA-selected instructors?
Tom Stafford and Deke Slayton. Instruction started early 1973 to prepare them for the 1975 U.S./Soviet Apollo-Soyuz mission.
136. Which spacecraft was the first to have freezers to preserve food?
Skylab, America’s first space station (1973-74).
137. Who was the first woman to fly in space?
Valentina Tereshkova, on Vostok 6, June 16, 1963. Her Call Sign was Chaika (Seagull).138. Who was the first U.S. medical doctor to fly in space?
Dr. Joseph P. (Joe) Kerwin, Science Pilot for the Skylab 2 mission (first manned visit). Dr. Kerwin was a naval pilot and flight surgeon.
139. Who got the first haircut in space?
Paul J. (P.J.) Weitz. Pete Conrad was the first barber (Skylab 2, first manned mission to Skylab).140. What Apollo-era crews were given medical and dental training in preparing for their flights?
The Skylab crews. Because of the long flights, planners anticipated the possibility of incurring injury, illness or dental problems.
141. All cosmonauts aboard the first generation Russian spacecraft, Vostok, made landings unlike all succeeding astronauts and cosmonauts. What was unique about their return to Earth?
They all ejected from the entry spacecraft and parachuted to the Earth’s surface. See Q 237.142. Which newspaper editorialized against the funding of rocket research by Dr. Robert Goddard?
The New York Times. In effect, the editorial promoted the erroneous notion that rocket engines can’t work in a vacuum because the rocket exhaust doesn’t have air to push against. The New York Times officially apologized to Goddard in 1969 (over 20 years after his death).
“… Professor Goddard … does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react …he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools…” New York Times, January 18,1920.
143. What special memorial did the Apollo 15 astronauts leave on the Moon?
It was called the Fallen Astronaut/Cosmonaut, a tiny sculpture of an astronaut in a space suit and