Skip To Content

    6 Weirdly Gripping Space Stories That Are Actually True

    If the idea of being on the far side of the moon and hearing eerie "music" scares you, look away now.

    1. That time we found a signal from space that ~might have been~ aliens.

    2. That time Apollo astronauts heard weird, "outer-space-type music" on the far side of the moon.

    Collins wrote in his book Carrying the Fire that NASA technicians warned him he might hear a strange whistling sound while the lunar module (LM) was on its way to the surface of the moon, and that if they hadn't it might have "scared the hell" out of him:

    It was interference between the LM's and command module's VHF radios. We had heard it yesterday when we turned our VHF radios on after separating our two vehicles, and Neil said that it "sounds like wind whipping around the trees." It stopped as soon as the LM got on the ground, and started up again just a short time ago. A strange noise in a strange place.

    3. That time two cosmonauts landed in the mountains in Siberia and had to survive freezing temperatures for two nights.

    Leonov recounted:

    We were only too aware that the taiga where we had landed was the habitat of bears and wolves. It was spring, the mating season, when both animals are at their most aggressive. We had only one pistol aboard our spacecraft, but we had plenty of ammunition. As the sky darkened, the trees started cracking with the drop in temperature – a sound I was so familiar with from my childhood – and the wind began to howl.

    They were, of course, rescued eventually – but not before spending two nights in the freezing temperatures of deepest Siberia.

    4. That time an astronaut landed off course and was found by a group of nomadic shepherds.

    5. That time an astronaut's helmet started filling with water while he was on a spacewalk.

    Twenty-three minutes after Parmitano first warned of water in his helmet, mission control made the decision to terminate the spacewalk, and he started to make his way back towards the airlock. Suddenly, things got worse, he later wrote in a blog post for the European Space Agency:

    Two things happen: the Sun sets, and my ability to see – already compromised by the water – completely vanishes, making my eyes useless; but worse than that, the water covers my nose – a really awful sensation that I make worse by my vain attempts to move the water by shaking my head. By now, the upper part of the helmet is full of water and I can’t even be sure that the next time I breathe I will fill my lungs with air and not liquid. To make matters worse, I realise that I can’t even understand which direction I should head in to get back to the airlock. I can’t see more than a few centimetres in front of me, not even enough to make out the handles we use to move around the station.

    Parmitano couldn't communicate with anyone, but did manage to make it back to the airlock. After a few tense minutes as the airlock repressurised, the door to the space station opened and his crewmates were waiting to help get him out of the helmet.

    NASA couldn't explain the malfunction immediately, but published a report in February 2014 saying that a blockage had caused the water leak and that the problem had been misdiagnosed when the same suit had leaked on an earlier spacewalk.

    6. That time we maybe found an alien megastructure orbiting a distant star.