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Space Exploration Gee Whiz Facts

Data radioed back from deep space is collected by large radio dish antennae receiving signal strength power levels of less than one millionth of one billionth of one watt.

A U.S. astronaut´s space suit typically costs 15 million dollars, including maintenance.

A tablespoon of neutron star material would weigh 10 billion tons.

The heavier elements in your body came from the explosions of supernovae.

There are over a trillion galaxies in the known universe, each having over 200 billion stars.

The Voyager-1 robotic spacecraft used the gravity assist slingshot effect from Jupiter to gain 35,700 mph relative to the sun, while slowing massive Jupiter by only 1 foot per trillion years.

The first rockets were made by the Chinese 1,000 years ago.

The 25 billion dollar cost of the Apollo moon program could have funded ten robotic missions to each of the planets in our solar system.

The best bet for possible extraterrestrial life in our solar system, probably only microbial, is on Mars, with more remote chances in the colder outer solar system on Europa, Enceladus, or Titan.

Saturn has a density lower than that of water ... and thus could float in a huge ocean.

The Drake Equation suggests there are millions of planets in our own galaxy that likely support some forms of life, with perhaps several of these being advanced civilizations.

After returning to Earth from 12 weeks of weightlessness in space, an astronaut is typically 2 inches taller for a short period before returning to his normal height.

The Voyager-1 spacecraft has traveled 13.6 billion miles since launch in 1977, and is now (2010) the most distant manmade object at 2.5 times farther away than Pluto.

Billions of neutrinos pass through your body every second, even passing right through the entire Earth with ease.