10 Terrifying Real-Life Astronaut Stories

10 Terrifying Real-Life Astronaut Stories 10 Just A Matter Of Seconds The first flight of Canadian former astronaut Chris Hadfield didn’t go as planned at all

It was 1995 and the mission was to deliver a Docking Module to the Russian Mir Space Station Hadfield’s job was to relay the speed and range information to the pilot as they were docking, an extremely high-precision event If you hit the station a little too soft, the spring mechanisms would bounce you off into space If you hit it too hard, you would break Mir in half and kill the three people on board Add to that their target was the size of a saucer

As they were approaching the station, the shuttle sensors each displayed different things One reported the team positions at about 32 feet away, the other one recorded a margin of 20 feet That is not what you wanna hear during a mission in which timing is everything To add pressure, they only had a mere 30 seconds to figure out what to do Hadfield went back to basics and used his thumb to approximate the distance

This confirmed they were about 21 feet away The mission ended with the team hitting the docking target at the correct speed and well within the time window – only 3 seconds early 9 Sunbathing To Save Lives Seemingly a dream job to many, Bob Curbeam’s mission of 2001 wasn’t actually that much of fun The goal of the mission was to install the U

S Destiny Laboratory onto the International Space Station The job involved spacewalking, something Curbeam had already experienced in 1997, so he was really no stranger to that However, he couldn’t anticipate that, while he was working on the external electrical system of the station, a cooling line would break and spew toxic ammonia all over him You see, a spacecraft is a closed system, meaning you cannot bring anything that could compromise that system from outside

– It was definitely a “Houston We Have A Problem” moment As a trained professional, Curbeam first focused on stopping the leak Only then he came up with a clever idea on how to get back into the space shuttle without bringing in the volatile ammonia He remembered that ammonia has a low boiling point, so all he had to do was “bake” himself in sunlight for an extra 30 minutes, waiting for the dangerous substance to vaporize 8

Snakes In Space When a professional astronaut such as Story Musgrave says that he's seen a snake flitting about in the cosmo, who are we to say the contrary? I mean, the former astronaut has six academic degrees, making him the highest qualified man to have entered space He took part in six space flights – making him one of the few astronauts to achieve that feat – and he was also of the Marine Corps and Air Force So, as odd as it may seem, Musgrave couldn’t find any better/fitting description for what he saw than a snake-ish figure, as he told Science magazine Omni The creature was reportedly between 6 and 8 feet long and it looked rubbery with internal waves in it – well, you would expect something odd from a space snake so, here you have it I know it’s hard to believe and, to be fair, Musgrave still can’t explain it either, but he’s also quite sure of what he saw

No wonder then, he is a strong believer in extraterrestrial life 7 Nomadic Shepherds To The Rescue With that title, you already know this is a truly unique story Scientist and astronaut Soyeon Yi became the first South Korean citizen to enter space in 2008, reaching the International Space Station, where she carried out experiments and medical tests The mission was a success

However, troubles started during the crew journey back to Earth The Russian Soyuz spacecraft module, on which Yi boarded, failed to separate properly from the reentry module This led the onboard computers to switch to a “ballistic reentry,” a backup method that is dependent on atmospheric drag The craft made a terrifyingly rough landing in the desolate steppes of Kazakhstan Normally, you expect there to be a whole team to help you out of the vehicle

But with no one around, the astronauts had to crawl out of the craft on their own, only to meet some shocked and almost certainly terrified Kazakhstani nomadic herders As reported by Yi, they had no idea about the space program In fact, they thought they were alien at first Then, once they realised they were humans, the shepherds helped the rest of the crew to get out 6

Space Fire Astronaut Jerry Linenger and the rest of the crew onboard the Mir space station in 1997, had to face a possibly fatal space fire The space station normally held three astronauts at a time However, when you’re switching personnel, two different crews could stay at the station at the same time So when did the catastrophic fire decide to strike? Right in the middle of this dangerously crowded process One of the oxygen tanks caught fire and turned into a huge, unstoppable blowtorch

With the possibility of toxic substances in the air and rapid decompression – which would almost certainly happen if the flames spread inside the station – the crew had to come up with a good plan As three astronauts were fighting the blaze, the other three prepared Soyuz ships for an emergency escape But there was a problem One of the two ships was blocked by the fire, so only three of the six would be able to escape Mir Luckily, after 14 minutes, the crew was able to stop the fire and didn’t have to make that tough decision

5 Mysterious Colorful Lights In Space Over the years, over many different space stations, several lucky astronauts have managed to witness our planet from above One thing that many different spacemen have claimed to have witnessed are colourful light phenomenons One of these events dates back to 1963 Leroy Gordon Cooper Jr

was one of the first American astronauts to reach space Cooper made his journey on a solo mission onboard the Faith 7 spaceship Once back on Earth, he claimed to have observed a circular object emitting green light speeding towards his ship To this day, the apparition remains unexplained 16 years later, another astronaut witnessed an odd light phenomenon

In November 2014 Samantha Cristoforetti [ Chris-to-for-AT-ee] was onboard the Soyuz TMA-15M on their way to the International Space Station As the ship approached the station she reportedly noticed the station appeared to be of vivid orange color As she wrote in a blog post, the orange light looked almost alien This mystery, though, was later solved It’s a rarely seen phenomenon, but when the sun hits the space station’s solar panels in a particular way, an orange hue is cast over the structure

4 High Tension In Space Speaking of unexpected accidents, Scott Parazynski’s mission of 2007 was no picnic either The mission was to install a new module on the International Space Station that would serve as a node for the addition of future research laboratories The astronaut’s job was to change the location of an array of solar panels – Easy, you may think

You’re wrong – it was a complex job already, but it got worse when the crew inside commanded these large solar panels to extend They got jammed up and began to tear, requiring prompt unplanned intervention NASA had to come up with the perfect plan because, as Parazynski later explained, by trying to undock the space shuttle they could risk ripping it apart There was also the risk of damaging the Space Station Their best shot was Parazynski

He traveled further away from the safety of an airlock than had never been previously attempted to manually repair the array His life was at stake – If any metal part of his suit touched the metal parts of the solar panel he risked electrocution or the ignition of the 100% of his oxygen Thankfully, everything worked out for the best 3 Clouds Of Smoke After a snake, clouds of smoke in space don’t seem that frightening, after all

But wait till you hear the full story In 2004 Russian news website Pravdaru published the claim made by Vladimir Kovalyonok, a former astronaut who took part in three space missions and has spent a total of 216 days in space – A respectable resume The astronaut told the website he saw a UFO back in 1981, during his last mission on board the Salyut orbital station

One day, through one of the portholes on the station he noticed something strange was going on outside a tiny orbiting object It was apparently hard to tell if it was actually small or was just too far away, and it was possible to determine its speed Anyway, right when Kovalyonok and a colleague were on the point of taking a picture, the object exploded, leaving only clouds of smoke behind 2 Space Music? Actually, the idea of some kind of music traveling across space is quite fascinating

Why should it be terrifying? We’ll get there in a sec But, first things first Apollo 10 – the vessel of this story – was the final reconnaissance mission around the moon before Apollo 11 reached its soil a few months later It’s May 1969 and onboard the ship there are three astronauts: John Young, Eugene Cernana, and Thomas Stafford The goal of the mission was to test the Lunar Module without actually landing it

In the process of orbiting the Moon, once they reached the dark side of the satellite, the crew experienced a bizarre phenomenon They lost any radio contact with Mission Control and heard something unexpected: Music Apparently, the noise that spooked the crew reported it sounded like an eerie whistling Nowadays, It is mysterious indeed that NASA kept this sound secret until 2016 The space agency also explained that space music was, in fact, a radio interference

1 Alien Bacteria Funny we’ve mentioned 2016, ‘cause the following year, Russian astronaut Anton Shkaplerov made an astonishing claim Shkaplerov has served onboard the International Space Station for a total of 3 missions He told the Russian state news agency that one of the several experiments carried out in space revealed something interesting They had allegedly found a bacteria on the outside of the station that he claimed to be of alien origins

How so? The astronaut said that previous cosmonauts swabbed the station's segment during spacewalks The samples extracted and sent back to Earth were examined and revealed they came from places on the station that had accumulated fuel waste However, further tests revealed that the swabs held types of bacteria that were not on the module when it originally launched into orbit Considering the world has been dealing with a global pandemic this last year, the idea of an additional bacteria – possibly alien – coming from space it’s just a tiny bit alarming, don’t you think? Anyway, Shkaplerov also made clear that the bacteria don't seem to pose a threat to humanity Still, NASA remained silent on the matter

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