6. Most Astronauts Get Space Sick
Despite advancements in space technology, space sickness remains one of NASA’s biggest headaches. More than half of all astronauts sent into space experience nausea, headache, vomiting, and general discomfort, which are all symptoms of space sickness, also called space adaptation syndrome. One notable astronaut who experienced space sickness is ex-senator Jake Garn, who started showing symptoms even before leaving Earth. By the time he returned, he couldn’t even walk properly.
Garn’s bout of space sickness was so terrible that his name became an informal measurement for the illness. Astronauts can rate their symptoms with phrases like like “one garn,” “two garns,” “three garns,” and so on. While NASA has yet to find a solution for space sickness, it has created an early warning device that lets astronauts know that they’re about to get space sick.
5. All Astronauts Wear Diapers
NASA had an oversight in designing the first space suit. Apparently, its scientists forgot that astronauts might need to pee while in their suits. This oversight caused astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American in space, to pee right inside his space suit. This only happened after series of deliberations because NASA scientists feared that the urine might short-circuit the electrical components of the suit.
To prevent similar scenarios during future missions, NASA came up with a condom-like device that astronauts wore while in their space suits. For obvious reasons, this device became a problem by the time women joined the space party in the 1970s, so NASA came up with a urine and fecal management system called the Disposable Absorption Containment Trunk (DACT). DACT was used by both sexes even though it was specifically made for women.
In 1988, NASA replaced DACT with the Maximum Absorbency Garment (MAG), which is basically an adult diaper, except that it has been modified to look like shorts. Each astronaut is given three MAGs for every mission. They wear one when going into space and one when returning and keep the third as an extra.