1. NASA is pretty sentimental.
The New Horizon's mission is carrying the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh, the man who discovered Pluto. Before he passed away in 1997, he requested that his ashes be sent to space. NASA honored that request and sent a small amount of his remains with the Pluto mission.
2. You can wave to the International Space Station.
NASA will text you or send an email when the International Space Station passes over your location.
3. You're not really paying for NASA.
It's a common misconception that NASA drains the federal budget. Since 1975, NASA has received one cent or less per every tax dollar. Currently, they receive $.005 cents per dollar.
4. Warp-field experiments totally exist.
Led by NASA scientist Harold White, Warp-field experiments are a series of currently undergoing and proposed future experiments to determine if the space-time continuum actually exists.
5. NASA is behind some of your most treasured toys.
Super Soaker squirt gun was invented by NASA Scientist, Lonnie Johnson. He was also integral in developing the Stealth Bomber and the Galileo mission to Jupiter.
6. NASA is exploring other planets responsibly.
NASA has an Office of Planetary Protection with a goal to explore the solar system responsibly and to protect the environments, as well as Earth -- Just in case we do find life on another planet.
7. NASA loves Hollywood too. Just not in the same way you do.
The blockbuster film, Armageddon, is often used during NASA's management training program. Afterwards, trainees are asked to identify as many scientific inaccuracies as possible. There are more than 168 inaccuracies in the film.
8. NASA discovered an unknown "Space Roar."
In 2006, NASA scientists discovered the "Space Roar," a strange noise in deep space that was several times louder than anything they've ever heard. Scientists are still trying to figure out the cause of the roar.
9. NASA produces it own weather.
The Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center is so big that it produces its own weather. The building is equipped with one of the biggest air conditioning systems to prevent the Florida humidity from creating rain clouds.
10. NASA's equipment is just too good.
In 2008, NASA worked with Speedo to create the most drag resistant swimsuit ever. It was so successful that swimmers were actually banned from using it in many competitions.
11. NASA has a long history with SETI: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life.
NASA's SETI efforts started in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1992, NASA launched its own, more intensive SETI program. But Congress cancelled it a year later. The SETI projects were picked up privately by the now SETI Institute. NASA is still heavily involved with the research and funds a handful of SETI projects.
12. NASA offers free community lectures at JPL.
Ever wanted to ask a NASA scientist a question, or two, or a hundred? NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA does just that. JPL offers free monthly lectures to the public with exceptional panels and fascinating topics.
13. NASA is really into social media.
NASA is a social media star. They've done an amazing job with building a solid fan base and posting incredible content. NASA also offers a ton of cool apps, including live streaming TV, all free. Here are all the ways you can connect with NASA: www.nasa.gov/socialmedia
14. NASA's content is copyright free.
NASA posts hundreds of still images, audio files, and videos that you're free to use for your personal projects. NASA is clear about their intention to encourage the spread of information and space education.
15. Calling All Citizen Scientists! NASA wants you.
Citizen Scientists have helped in many NASA discoveries and more so with the latest technology. You can in assist in many research areas, from mapping Martian landscapes to monitoring meteor showers on the Moon and so much more. www.science.nasa.gov/citizen-scientists