10 Mysterious Incidents From The International Space Station

The launch of the International Space Station in November 1998 has given the human race a permanent residence in space—something that only decades earlier was pure science-fiction. The amount of information and knowledge that we can obtain from its perpetual orbit around our planet is priceless. With that quest for knowledge, comes a lot of strange stories, discoveries and sightings.

The STS 114 ‘Boomerang’ Incident

The STS 114 mission on the space shuttle Discovery, was the first mission of its kind since the Columbia disaster two and a half years earlier in 2003. Since that tragic event, NASA had noticeably improved what were already tight safety procedures. Perhaps because of this, it was noticed almost immediately that a piece of foam had appeared to break away upon Discovery’s launch. space science space station earth science  space science space station earth science  space science space station earth science  space science space station earth science 

Discovery’s mission was to dock with the International Space Station and resupply the crew that were already on board. Before doing so, Commander Eileen Collins performed a maneuver that flipped the shuttle over, exposing its underside to allow photographs to be taken from the space station so as to search for any damage.

When the pictures were studied, it was confirmed that this was the case, leading to astronaut, Steve Robinson, venturing out into space to carry out repairs. Following Robinson’s repairs of the shuttle, a strange object was caught on a NASA camera. The object was white against the black backdrop of space. It flew by the shuttle in the distance, and then appeared to stop briefly before changing its direction.

This movement led to the object being nicknamed “The Boomerang.” After investigating the footage, NASA stated the object was nothing more than space debris. However, some dismissed this theory, claiming the object’s change of direction was proof that it was intelligently guided.

Cherry Tree Grows Six Years Ahead Of Schedule

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In November 2008, 250 cherry tree stones were taken to the International Space Station. Once they were safely on board, they orbited the Earth over 4,000 times before being returned to the planet in July 2009. They were planted in 14 various locations, one of which was the Ganjoji Temple in Japan.

By 2014, six years earlier than expected, the sapling had grown to 4 meters (13 ft) tall and had produced several flowers. What was even stranger was that these flowers had five distinct petals, as opposed to the 30 that is usually expected to be found normally. Similar results had been recorded at three other locations.

While scientists can’t say for sure if the time the seeds spent orbiting the Earth from the space station played a part in their quickened growth on Earth, they stated that they “couldn’t rule out” it being a factor either. The seeds’ exposure to stronger cosmic rays in outer space was given as one possibility for the results they were now seeing. Ultimately, until further study is done, scientists do not know why the saplings have progressed the way they have, and if indeed it may have been coincidence.

Kelly Tweets A Photograph Of An ‘Obvious UFO’

In July 2015, astronaut Scott Kelly innocently tweeted a picture from the International Space Station. Kelly, who set the record for the longest amount of time in space, sent the Internet ablaze for a short time, as UFO enthusiasts claimed to see a strange tubular space craft in the top right of the picture.The picture made it to YouTube in a short video, which was viewed nearly a million times. space science space station earth science  space science space station earth science  space science space station earth science  space science space station earth science 

The person who uploaded the video stated that he “found it hard to believe” that the object was not noticed by Kelly before tweeting the picture.From a distance, the strange tube-like object does indeed appear to be a UFO orbiting above Earth’s surface. However, when the contrast of the picture was altered, it appeared to show that it was nothing more than the antenna of the space station itself. Not only does this solve the mystery as to what the object actually was, it also explains why Kelly wouldn’t have noticed anything strange when taking the picture.

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