Monday, February 18, 2013

Are There Space Travel Superstitions?

Given that space travel is largely a result of scientific and technological endeavors, are there any space travel superstitions still practiced by our space-faring brethren in this day and age? 

By: Ringo Bones 

For all its armored veneer of fact-based science and technology that made all of it a technical possibility, it seems that from day one and even this day and age, there had been since-established space travel superstitions that had been practiced from the Cold War era on both sides of the Iron Curtain that had been carried on until the present day. But what are these space travel superstitions that had since became de rigueur whenever the U.S. government or any other nation state who can afford to practices before being launched into low-Earth orbit? 

In America, the US government has since bowed down to the “religious pressures” of the Evangelical conservative community. And since they are a significant taxpaying portion of the U.S. citizenry, the practice of jettisoning those so-called “Children's Letters to God” since the start of U.S. manned space flight. Given that the “Christian God” supposedly lives in “Heaven” and “Heaven” is supposedly located up there, the “Letters to God” are probably usually jettisoned somewhere between the Armstrong Line and the Kármán Line whenever a U.S. government owned rocket or the NASA Space Shuttle goes to orbit. 

While in Russia, their “space travel superstitious practices” were probably established back in the days when their first space travel pioneer, Yuri Gagarin, was still in training in lieu to explore what was back then the still largely unknown region of low-Earth orbit. Until this day, male Russian cosmonauts on their way to the launch sites in the Baikonur Cosmodrome “relieve” themselves on the wheels of the bus that transports them to the launch pad. Given that the then Soviet Union was the first to send the first woman to space i.e. Valentina Tereshkova - most of their cosmonauts are still largely men. And since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russian Orthodox blessings have since become de rigueur on every scheduled spaceflight. Well, a Russian Orthodox blessing is deemed as “superstitious” to those Russians still harboring secular humanist viewpoints.   

1 comment:

VaneSSa said...

Back in the 1960s when she was still active in the Soviet Union's Cosmonaut program - how did Valentina Tereshkova ever peed on the wheels of the bus that ferried her and her fellow cosmonauts to the Baikonur Kosmodrom launchpad?