Yuri Gagarin (by Russian Federal Space Agency)
Superstitions and astronauts. It is strange seeing these two words together because astronauts are professionals of the highest level, capable of working even in space. But there is no contradiction here: the astronaut profession is considered to be one of the riskiest in the world.
Looking at astronauts’ superstitions we can study the history of space exploration. Many superstitions seem strange, but today they are an important part in preparing for a flight, helping astronauts overcome severe stress before launching into space.
Peeing on the Wheel of a Bus
This is perhaps the most well-known tradition. According to a legend, this custom dates back to Yuri Gagarin.
Launching on Monday
It is believed that Monday is not a lucky day for launching space shuttles. Obviously, there is no official ban on it, but they try not launching on Mondays.
A door with Autographs of Astronauts
Before the start the astronauts are accommodated in a hotel. On the door of one of the rooms astronauts leave their autographs. These autographs are carefully protected.
White Sun of the Desert
This is a name of a Soviet movie, which has become an instant classic. Astronauts make sure to watch it before launching into space.
Most astronauts departing into space these days are flying on Russian space ships. And, of course, all astronauts perform all established traditions and customsthat are typical to Russian astronauts.
Valentina Tereshkova (by Russian Federal Space Agency)
So, What about Women?
It is believed that the woman “on board” of a spacecraft, by analogy with sea ships, is not a lucky sign. By coincidence, they happen to encounter most of the abnormal situations. Now it is believed that it is important there were fewer women on board then men.
Then What about Female Astronauts?
Female astronauts, the same as men, make sure to observe all the traditions and customs. Of course, no one is forcing female astronauts to pee on a wheel of the bus transporting astronauts to the launch pad. But some still do it in their imagination, and some, they say, bring a special jar.
To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev