Even more popular myths about space debunked

If you are interested in astronomy and everything connected to this topic, you might have already read our previous article about the myths about space debunked. Needless to say, space is still mysterious and it looks like the more we are learning about it, the more false beliefs we are creating around it. Undeniably, the modern film production with all its realistic special effects and pseudo-scientific theories only makes us believe in some cosmic legends even more. In order to shed even more light on our universe and the space exploration, we have debunked some of the widespread myths as well.

The Great China Wall is visible when you are looking from the Moon

We bet you have heard at least once in your life that The Great China Wall is visible for the observer watching it from the Moon. Undeniably, this construction is enormous even when compared to the modern buildings, yet, if you check the real photos made from the Moon for examples by the crew of Apollo-11 or Apollo-17, you will not be able to see The Great Wall of China. Of course, that is not the fault of The Wall. The fact is the distance of nearly 384 400 km is really too far from the Earth for observing any kind of constructions at all.

What you can really see from the Moon is a beautiful colourful sphere with a mixture of white, blue, yellow and green colours.

Some people are using this popular expression in other way, telling that The Great China Wall is visible from open space, not necessarily from the Moon. This claim is actually true since astronauts of The International Space Station can see even the entire cities. Still, you will hardly find a photo on which The Wall is distinguishable.

Space rockets are flying vertically

You will hardly find a film about space adventures which won’t show you the spacecraft flying according to a straight vertical trajectory. The vision of the majority of film directors is that the spacecraft just starts its movement upright, accelerates, loses its temporary parts and it’s already orbiting the Earth. This depiction of the rocket flight has become so engraved in our mind that it is rather difficult to imagine that spaceships are actually moving in a different way.

It turns out that a spaceship can’t move like that since it can simply cause a rapid loss of the fuel. As a result, sooner or later the vehicle will just fall back on the Earth. In order to avoid such an outcome, a spaceship has to accelerate up to the first cosmic velocity which is 7,91 km/sec for the Earth. In order to do it, the aircraft has to switch to the horizontal position in several seconds after the start. Of course, it is done gradually, but anyway, the trajectory of the flight is far from a straight vertical line we are so used to.

Space debris is rather dangerous

As you can imagine, space debris is the remains of the satellites abandoned in the space. Even though the costs of sending a satellite to the orbit are rather high, the current reports tell us that at the moment, nearly 20 000 artificial objects are surrounding our planet among which only 2 218 ones are working satellites. Furthermore, the overall number of the space debris is something around 128 million pieces! No wonder why we can see absolutely horrible scenes of collisions of the spacecraft with space debris! A great illustration of this belief is the film “Gravitation” depicting the dangerous waves of space debris crashing the International Space Station as well as other objects orbiting the Earth.

Fortunately, it is only the imagination and has nothing to do with the reality. Although the overall number of the space garbage is really impressive, the possibility of colliding with any of this is one in ten thousand. Actually, any of the debris which is actually featured with a size sufficient for damaging the aircraft is tracked so the spaceship always have a chance to omit it.

The food for astronauts is stored only in tubes

If anyone ask you about the way astronauts are consuming their food while being under the conditions of no gravitation, we bet, you will say all their meals are packed into tubes resembling the ones used for storing toothpaste.

This popular belief is actually well-grounded since tubes had been used as packages for space food for a quite long time. In order to avoid the food flying all around the spacecraft, the first astronauts were consuming their meal from special tubes. For example, Yuri Gagarin consumed three tubes of food during his flight, the two of them contained ground meat, whereas the third was with chocolate.

Yet, this form of packaging is not popular today anymore. Nowadays, astronauts have their food packed into plastic bags or canned. In addition to it, Mexican tortillas are also an extremely popular dish among astronauts.

Katie Miller

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