Several religious pre-launch rituals have been performed over the years.
They think rituals are important before they are about to take off. Here are some ‘bizarre’ astronauts’ rituals you may not know. Let’s get started!
Astronauts perform all sorts of superstitious rituals before their space journey because the journey can be dangerous.
1. Who Is Andrew Richard?
- A. NASA astronaut
- B. Scientist
- C. US president
- D. None of the above
1. Urinate on the Back Right Tire
Yuri Gagarin was the first man to orbit the earth and planted a tree near the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur in 1961. A week before, he went for a haircut then he boarded the spacecraft Vostok. Gagarin watched a movie a night before his launch. In the middle of the launch pad and went out of the bus to urinate on the back right tire. After that, every space explorer follows the same weird ritual of taking a bathroom break on the bus.
Colonel Luca Parmitano says, “It’s a little awkward, but we all like to talk about it,” “It has been there since the very first spaceflight. It’s when, on the bus, going towards the rocket, about half a mile from the rocket, we all stop and step outside and we go to the right-back tyre of the bus that takes us to the launchpad. And we do a ‘pit stop’.”
Another fellow astronaut Drew Morgan further says, “That pit stop there on the tyre dates back to when Yuri Gagarin did it himself. And you know, there’s a fine line between tradition and superstition, and because he had a successful flight, that became a tradition from that point forward.”
2. Astronauts Get Slapped in the Face
The Verge reported that American astronauts, Russian cosmonauts, and even rockets, all receive the official blessing performed by a priest from the Russian Orthodox Church.
3. Astronauts Sign the Doors
Another crazy ritual is that astronauts have to put a signature on the hotel doors where they are staying.
4.Plant a Tree
Here is another weird ritual, astronauts have to leave a greener trace for prosperity where they plant a tree before they take off on a trip to the International Space Station. Parmitano says, “Right behind us there are some trees that have been planted by every single cosmonaut and astronaut that has flown on the Soyuz.”
5. Have a Feast
American astronauts eat a meal of steak, egg, and cake before they board the spacecraft. They don’t bother when takeoff is scheduled.
6. Play Poker Game
They play last-minute poker games until the commander calls them to board the spacecraft.
7. Bring Stuffed Animal
The space crew members bring stuffed animals for the ride because they bring it for good luck and also used to find whether they’ve reached zero gravity or not. The fuzzy toy will float. Recently some astronauts have even started bringing a towel along with them for good luck.