On Wednesday morning, a new Russian expedition launched into space from Kazakhstan. Before reaching the rocket, the astronauts surprised everyone with a strange behavior. Apparently, they respected an old tradition where, before walking away from the bus that brought them to the rocket, they urinated on the right tire in the back. Where does this habit come from?
Why do astronauts urinate on a tire?
Many astronauts have some sort of tradition before they embark on a rocket, but the Russians amaze us with the most interesting one. As they get down from the bus that brought them to the launching site, they have to urinate on a tire in the back. The same applies for women, who have to do it in a cup and then splash the urine on the same tire.
This sounds really strange, so where does the habit to urinate on a tire come from? Astronomers were happy to explain, as they are paying a tribute to the first man who ever reached space, Yuri Gagarin. On April 12th, 1961, launched on the first-ever trip to space from the same location in Kazakhstan. As his natural needs took over him, he had no other place to go than behind the bus.
What other tributes do astronauts pay to Gagarin?
This is probably the funniest way to pay tribute to the first astronaut in space. However, not everyone does it. All astronauts leaving from the same cosmodrome found nice ways to honor the memory of Gagarin. Some of them plant trees right where Gagarin planted his, visit his grave or his office that stays untouched since 1968, when the astronaut died.
Gagarin will remain the most important astronaut in Russia’s space history. It made the first big achievement in the field of space travel and is regarded today as a national hero. While the habit to urinate on a tire seems strange, Russian astronauts are proud to do it in Gagarin’s memory.
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