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NASA Has the Darndest Superstitions

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NASA astronauts might seem like atomic supermen, but they are still only human, with the same foibles and fears that the rest of us have. Just because they aren’t screaming like little girls as the craft makes its re-entry doesn’t mean they aren’t screaming on the inside.

The best proof of this is NASA’s protocol for space missions. In between the list of pre-launch requirements lies a longer list of quirky superstitions that the astronauts and the mission control team follow to the letter.

According to Wired Magazine, the astronauts wake up to the sounds of Dean Martin’s ‘Going Back to Houston,’ a practice that dates back to the Apollo missions.

The Kennedy Space Center’s rookie test directors and engineers lose their neckties for their first day on the job. They actually have them cut off by the crew, a superstition that is also practiced in aviation before a pilot’s first solo flight.

NASA astronauts will always eat scrambled eggs and steak for breakfast. This tradition started with astronaut Alan Shepard—it was the breakfast he ate before his Mercury Freedom 7 flight. The launch team also eat beans and cornbread before the launch, a tradition started by NASA Test Director Norm Carlson before the first space shuttle launch. We hope the mission control room has a window that they can crack…

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