We’re kicking off World Space Week (October 4–10) with some fun(?) facts about the final frontier.
1) $1,500,000: The winning auction bid for a trip to space with Leonardo DiCaprio. The winner, a Russian real estate mogul, will sit next to the actor on the Virgin Galactic’s maiden voyage this fall. That’s a lot of money just to fight over an armrest with the kid from Growing Pains.
2) 14: The number of known black holes in the universe. Apparently, the ones we fall into after a night out don’t fit the description.
3) 78,000: The number of applications received, in just two weeks, from people hoping to become the first settlers on Mars. Dutch organization Mars One will select seven to 10 candidates and shuttle them off on a one-way trip to the Red Planet in 2023. No backsies!
4) 2028: The year a mile-wide asteroid known as 1997 XF11 is expected to barely miss colliding with the Earth’s surface in what many experts anticipate will be the most exciting game of chicken in the history of the universe.
5) Dozens: The estimated number of dead animals floating around space, including dogs, monkeys, and rabbits. The creatures were aboard test flights and never retrieved. Make a wish upon a shooting chimp corpse!
6) 3,000 Degrees: The temperature (in Fahrenheit) experienced by NASA shuttles in the hottest moments of atmospheric reentry during landing. We’re pretty sure it got that hot at our cover shoot this month.
7) @Astro_Mike: The Twitter handle of Michael J. Massimino, the first astronaut to tweet from space, while aboard the shuttle Atlantis in 2009. We’re still waiting for the first Instagram of artfully filtered astronaut ice cream.
8) "Shit": The first curse word said on the record in space. In 1969 astronaut Tom Stafford saw a moon crater he said was “bigger than shit.” A reporter listening in asked astronaut Harrison Schmitt to clarify. He covered for his buddy by replying, “He said...‘bigger than Schmitt.’ ”
9) 3.8 Centimeters: Distance the moon moves away from Earth every year. Take the hint, Earth, and eat an Altoid.
10) 2: The length, in inches, an astronaut grows while floating around in antigravity space. Further proof that your penis chose the wrong line of work.
Check out our quiz Are You a Dinosaur? and The Best Things To Happen In Slow Motion.