When it comes to outer space, human beings still have more questions than they do answers. While researchers at places like NASA and the International Space Station (ISS) work hard every day to crack the mysteries of the universe, there are still many unknowns.
Mysteries attract a certain breed of people: folks with inquisitive and questioning minds that have a passion for calling out authority and for believing in the impossible. These are the people who are sure that NASA and the ISS are hiding information about what’s really going on in the deepest, darkest reaches of outer space.
Though their logic sounds far-fetched, they might not just be conspiracy theorists after all. Read about these 10 different outer space mysteries and decide for yourself whether NASA is telling the truth or if they are hiding something big…
1. When Discovery launched in 2005, a critical piece of foam broke from its hull. Once it reached the International Space Station, the orbiter completed a maneuver that flipped it so that the station could photograph any debris. As the orbiter turned, however, something shaped like a boomerang whizzed by. Even though NASA reported that it was just debris, many people suspect that it was actually a UFO.
2. In 2008, over 250 cherry trees were sent into space where they orbited the earth more than 4,000 times. When the trees returned to earth, they were planted. By 2014, scientists realized that the trees were all growing at an accelerated rate; they appeared to be six years older than they actually were.
3. July 2015, astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted a picture he had taken inside the ISS. In the upper right hand corner of the image, UFO enthusiasts claimed to have spotted an alien craft. The Internet went wild. In truth, this object was just an antenna that was part of the ship itself.
4. UFO spotting isn’t the only thing Scott Kelly has experimented with while spending time in space. NASA decided that Kelly—who held the record for spending the most amount of time in space—was an ideal subject for research! He helped NASA determine how space affects the human body, particularly because he has an identical twin living on Earth to serve as the control.
5. In April 2016, 20-year-old Jadon Beeson from Stourport-on-Severn in Worcestershire, England, was watching live footage from the ISS when he spotted what appeared to be a spacecraft nearly identical to the Millennium Falcon (Han Solo’s ship in the classic film Star Wars). He sent his photos to NASA, but received no reply.
6. The live feed from the ISS is a popular resource for believers in UFOs. However, the feed goes suspiciously dead when objects, like this horseshoe-shaped UFO, appear on the footage. NASA reports that these “sightings” are space debris, but cutting out the film when they appear only makes people more suspicious.
7. In August 2006, while traveling on its way to the ISS, the space shuttle Atlantis appeared to be tracked, “monitored,” or “followed” by a strange set of triangular lights—at least, according to UFO hunters. NASA immediately swooped into action, stating that the lights were (you guessed it) “space debris.”
8. While collecting samples on the exterior of the ISS in August 2014, astronauts claimed to have discovered living organisms “clinging” to the outside of the orbiting craft. They were identified as plankton that most likely originated from Earth. The astronauts were not sure how exactly the plankton would have gotten there, though.
9. While serving as the commander of the ISS in 2005, astronaut Leroy Chiao witnessed a line of bright lights pass below him as he conducted a routine spacewalk. After an investigation, it was reported to be large fishing boats on Earth reflecting back into space. Still, it sounds… fishy!
10. In October 2013, crew aboard the ISS witnessed a strange “jellyfish” cloud hovering above the Earth. They investigated but initially couldn’t figure out what could have caused it. They later learned that the cloud was the result of a Russian rocket test that had been carried out that day in Kazakhstan. This explained the cloud, but not the mysterious lightning the astronauts saw!
It’s crazy how much goes on in space that even the professionals don’t have solid answers about. While NASA has given some information about these events, inexplicable happenings like these make you wonder what they may really be hiding…
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