10 Amazing and Terrifying Astronaut Stories (Video)

We all know about the amazing stories that come from astronauts and NASA as they make their way home to Earth. From unidentified objects – flying, floating, or otherwise – to sounds and lights they see in space, and even just “regular” problems, an astronaut tells tales that sometimes seem credible, and sometimes not. Many of the stories have recordings to back up their words, and sometimes they do not.

While many people find their stories terrifying, the astronauts and NASA often chalk up the events as just another day on the job. So what are some of the most amazing, terrifying, and just plain unexplainable stories of all time? And is there evidence to back them up?

Solar Panel Scare

While astronaut Scott Parazynski was on the International Space Station and changing the position of solar panels, something went terribly wrong. He said that initially, things went well with the move, but when the crew attempted to deploy them – to extend the panels – the solar panels started tearing.

Parazynski said that:

“It was unsafe to continue to extend this panel any further; you couldn’t retract it either. There was concern that if we even tried to undock the space shuttle it might rip apart and hit the shuttle, and we could have another space shuttle Columbia disaster on our hands. Or, we could damage the International Space Station and have everyone evacuate.”

solar panel tear, ISS
Image: Screenshot via YouTube Video

The worst part was the dangerous plan to fix the issue. Parazynski had to go on the furthest spacewalk “from the safety of an airlock” than anyone had before. Not to mention that if, when he got to the solar panel, he touched metal-to-metal, the panels with his suit, he could be electrocuted, and even set his suit on fire because of the 100 percent oxygen. After insulating all of his tools, the astronaut made the walk and successfully fixed the panel, saving the station.

Screaming “Fire” in a Crowded Space Station

Astronaut Jerry Linenger, stationed on the Mir space station, was eating dinner when all of a sudden, an extra tank of “oxygen-based chemicals,” all combustible, caught fire. Linenger said that:

“It was a hot, hot, hot fire burning out of control.”

They say it was kind of like a blowtorch, and it was blocking one of the Soyuz ships they would have used to evacuate the six astronauts on board, meaning if they didn’t put out the fire, they’d have to choose who got to survive.

worst fire, iss, astronaut stories
Image: Screenshot via YouTube Video

Luckily, however, they were able to get the fire under control after 14 minutes, although they did have wear oxygen masks while the crew cleaned up after the smoke and combusted chemicals.

Toxic Astronaut Sunbathing in Space

Astronaut Bob Curbeam is one of few who can say they have extensive experience on spacewalks. Unfortunately, one walk almost killed him and his crew when one of the ISS’ cooling lines broke, spilling toxic ammonia all over his spacesuit. This meant that he couldn’t go back inside the station, lest he wanted to potentially kill his crewmates with the toxic fumes recycled through the air circulation system.

toxic ammonia leak, astronaut
Image: Screenshot via YouTube Video

After finally curbing the leak of ammonia, he had to formulate a plan to detoxify his suit so he could board the ISS without contaminating it. So, he sunbathed in space. Curbeam figured that the ammonia’s low boiling point could work to his advantage, and placed himself in the direct line of the sun for an extra half hour before re-boarding the space station. This allowed the ammonia to “boil” off of his suit. It ultimately worked, and he was able to get back on board without issue.

Blinded by Sensors

With 250,000 pounds of shuttle speeding towards the Mir space station to dock, Chris Hadfield’s inaugural flight went horribly wrong when the sensors stopped working. They had two minutes to dock, and the speed they had to do it at was crucial, or they risked tearing the station apart, killing everyone onboard. The sensors were giving the astronaut faulty information, so he had to take matters into his own hands, quite literally.

Knowing everything about the Mir station, including its dimensions, Hadfield was able to judge how far they were away from the station and how fast they were going. This allowed him to fire the thrusters to land safely – and land they did, with three seconds to spare.

Astronaut Soyeon Yi Please Phone Home

When the first Korean to travel to space, Soyeon Yi, attempted to return to the Earth aboard a Russian Soyuz, a botched detachment sent the Soyuz hurtling towards the Earth on a very, very wrong trajectory. They ultimately wound up 300 miles off course of where they should have landed, in the middle of land farmed by Kazakhstani nomads.

Soyeon Yi
Image: Screenshot via YouTube Video

The nomads took a while to figure out the astronauts weren’t aliens, as they didn’t even know people had been to space before. Yi asked if they had a phone, but they didn’t so she went back to the shuttle to use the GPS and a satellite phone to call the Russian Space Agency, and a helicopter eventually rescued them.

Knock, Knock, is Anyone Home?

During the inaugural flight of the first person China sent to space, Yang Liwei said he heard a strange knocking on the spaceship that sounded like “knocking an iron bucket with a wooden hammer.”  He says he didn’t come from inside or outside. After investigating, he couldn’t find the source and still hasn’t been able to explain the knocking.

One theory holds that it was something hitting the craft. Another says that it could have been the temperature difference between the inside and outside of the craft making it contract, just as hot metal does when it hits cold water or air. Either way, it is certainly eerie to hear an unexplained sound in space, especially since sound cannot travel in a vacuum.

Intelligent Life?

Enter Leland Melvin again. Asked about his thoughts on alien life in the universe on Twitter, his answer has conspiracy theorists salivating. He said he saw something “organic” floating around in one of the payload docks.

NASA said it was probably ice that broke off of one of the freon hoses, but questions followed that explanation.

Space Music?

We know sound can’t travel in a vacuum, but what would explain the whistling that astronauts heard who orbited the moon in a test flight for the 1969 moon landing? Described by the astronauts as space music, a recording of the sound was classified until recently. NASA claims the astronauts experienced interference via radio waves, but on the far side of the moon, they would have been “too far out of range” for that explanation.

Cryptic Astronaut Messages

During an interview with Scott Kelly, an astronaut who spent 340 days in space, Kelly made a few interesting, if not cryptic statements, seemingly about aliens. Talking about how the time in space affected him, as opposed to his twin who stayed on Earth, he mentioned that returning to regular Earth gravity was hard for him, and he noted that the aliens have it easy.

He then goes on to talk about a VR game that NASA apparently uses to train astronauts on the ISS on how to react during an attack by extraterrestrials that uses “alien spaceships coming inside the space station,” aliens attacking the astronauts they have to shoot, and other disturbing graphics. He goes on to ask:

“Why would NASA create such a violent game…?”

Why indeed?

The Secret Mars Mission: Super Astronauts

Secret colonies on Mars. The Mars Defense Force. Space wars with two Martian species. This has to be a joke, right? Not according to U.S. Marine Randy Cramer, who says he spent 17 years on Mars working for a secret section of the U.S. Marine Corps tasked with missions in space and on Mars. Cramer said he worked in an underground facility protecting five human colonies from native species, and that he spent three more years elsewhere in space. Apparently, USMC code article 21 allows him to speak about the time he served. And he certainly did.

Cramer talked about various species living on Mars, at least six of which were classified as “hostile.” He details it all in a newsletter he puts out. He also talked about defending Forward Station Zebra, which is where some of the colonies were located, as well as his other duties as a Mars Defense Force member. He said of his other duties that he had to:

“…Assault or join other forces in assaulting native Martian hives of insectoids and reptoids: the two sentient species on Mars, other than us … I’ve heard reports of 1 or 2 other native species on Mars.”

mars colony, super soldier, MILABD
Image: Screenshot via YouTube Video

Cramer went on to say that a Super Soldier program uses mind control techniques to keep the soldiers “with-the-grain,” MILABs (military abductions), and even how his “superiors” believe some of the government has been compromised by “malevolent alien types of entities.” Critics of Cramer’s tales say that his hypnotherapist helped him recover false memories.

There is no doubt that all of these stories are terrorizing, especially the fires and toxic fumes. But only those have definitive proof that we’re aware of. Does this mean NASA covering up the existence of extraterrestrials? Only time and further evidence will tell.

Check out more details of these fascinating stories here:


Featured Image: Screenshot via YouTube Video

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