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August 28, 2014

Boldly going

Why do Russian cosmonauts pee on a tire before space launches?

We all have our own odd traditions, and astronauts and cosmonauts are no different. In fact, you could even argue that since their jobs are a bit, well, high-stress, their traditions are proportionately weird. For example: in Russia, before the cosmonauts board their craft for blastoff, they make sure to pee on a tire. But why? [...]

Apparently it all goes back to Yuri Gagarin, the first man ever to undertake a spaceflight. Legend has it that he took a pitstop on the right rear tire of the bus taking him to the launch pad on April 12, 1961. Though it was probably done out of necessity and not the desire to start a quirky tradition, the man's a national hero, and other cosmonauts started to emulate him. Five decades later, they're still boldly going ... so to speak.

Via Now I Know

Posted by joke du jour at August 28, 2014 06:02 PM

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