5 Weird Programs of NASA

5 Weird Programs of NASA

5 Weird Programs of NASA
Image Credits: Inverse

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is always busy in discovering interesting things about our planet and beyond. Given the range of its exploration, some initiatives of NASA do turn into weird programs. From cursing crews to a rogue Martian colony, the agency clearly proves that real life is better than fiction. Let’s take a look at some of the weird programs of NASA that are actually quite surprising.

The Nasalnaut

The Nasalnaut- Weird Programs

NASA’s chemical specialist, George Aldrich, is the proud recipient of the Silver Snoopy Sniffer Award. The sole responsibility of Aldrich is to smell objects before they are allowed in space because, as ridiculous as it sounds, offensive smells can cause a lot of trouble in space. Bad odor in the confined areas of spacecraft can cause astronauts to be less productive or even fall sick.

Five volunteers snort at objects destined for space. Each one of them give a rating between 0 and 4. NASA is so serious about preventing bad smells that any object with a grade higher than 2.5 is abandoned. Before the sniffing begins, the volunteers go through a medical exam to ensure that their noses are in fine order. No wonder, Aldrich is called the “NASA nose” after smelling objects for 800 missions.

Dust Dosed Animals

Dust Dosed Animals - Weird Programs

While lunar exploration has led to a lot of new discoveries, it also has raised certain concerns. One of them is the arrival of noxious germs as humanity risked exposure to pathogens for which they had no immunity. For this reason, the agency decided to run safety tests after 1999.

Although it seems like a positive decision, the tests were actually weird. Scientists ground up some of NASA’s precious Moon rocks and their dust was divided into two halves. Half of the dust was baked to ensure that the material was sterilized. Meanwhile, the other half remained natural and potentially dangerous. This dust was then sprinkled into aquariums full of fish. Similarly, mice were chosen for testing the effects on land animals. Even insects like flies and cockroaches were fed little bits of moon rocks. The microscopic analysis of the Moon rocks revealed that it had no microorganisms and it is potentially harmless.

Hypnotizing a Cursing Astronaut

Hypnotizing a cursing astronaut

This was a particularly weird but much needed program of NASA. During the early days of space programs, people used to follow each and every venture very closely as it was something completely new. For sake of maintaining a family-friendly image of NASA, cursing of astronauts had to be censored.

Most of the astronauts at that time were ex-military types and dropped f-bombs like there was no tomorrow. Having said that, there was one particular astronaut who cursed so frequently that editing was not a solution. As a last resort, NASA turned towards hypnosis. Before his mission, a psychiatrist planted the urge to hum whenever he felt like cursing. Needless to say, that astronaut kept humming while jumping around on the Moon’s surface.

Martian Law Problem

Martian Law problem

Lately, mankind has been keen on colonizing Mars. Many private companies are racing to be the first on the planet. However, one big problem is still at large: the red planet has no laws. NASA studied people in long-term isolation in a project designed to mimic life as a human Martian. The stresses of the confined space suggested that Earth law might not survive on another world, especially if it mirrors the current laws on space stations. NASA still needs to finalize laws for the Red Planet, but many feel that the colonists are going to add their own mercurial force to how they are governed on Mars. You can know more about our chances of survival on the red planet at HERE

Music from Space Photos

Music from Space Photos

This is one of the latest weird programs that the space agency has come through. In 2019, NASA has found a way to convert photos of distant objects into music. As weird as it sounds, it is actually a thing now.

At first, the experts chose a photograph taken by the famous Hubble Space Telescope that was taken last year. The image was a special one as it captured around 1,000 galaxies together, leading researchers to call it a “galactic treasure chest”. The image was programmed in such a way that each object at different locations produced various notes. Stars and small galaxies represented short sounds whereas spiral galaxies were converted into longer, more complicated sounds. Lower sounds were produced by objects near the bottom of the picture, and frequencies turned higher closer to the top. This weird program resulted in eerie and haunting sounds, but it seems as if it was worth a shot.

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