Ridiculous History: 5 of NASA's Greatest Pranks


Astronaut Dale A. Gardner holds up a 'For Sale' sign referring to the two satellites he and another astronaut retrieved from orbit after their Payload Assist Modules (PAM) failed to fire. NASA
Astronaut Dale A. Gardner holds up a 'For Sale' sign referring to the two satellites he and another astronaut retrieved from orbit after their Payload Assist Modules (PAM) failed to fire. NASA

On any successful space mission, the crew's morale is at the top of the list of priorities. After all, the final frontier can be one high-stress workplace. So it's no wonder that, in the 59 years since it was first established, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has seen a small army of passionate pranksters.

Now we're not talking anything too serious of course. That could get dangerous on a NASA mission. These pranks are all relatively mild and silly, but still not necessarily what we'd expect from the crew of astronauts who were the first men to walk on the moon. But when your job consists of being launched into space at 17,500 miles per hour (28,000 kilometers per hour), sometimes a little comedy to go with the cosmos isn't a bad thing.

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