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Living on Earth while your dad walks on the moon

<i>NASA/Getty Images/AP/CNN illustration</i><br/>The children of the Apollo astronauts and flight directors have shared their stories of what it was like to grow up with a front-row seat to history.
NASA/Getty Images/AP/CNN illustration
The children of the Apollo astronauts and flight directors have shared their stories of what it was like to grow up with a front-row seat to history.

By Ashley Strickland, CNN

There is something about stargazing that inspires us to dream, to imagine the impossible. What if, as you looked to the stars, you were envisioning your next destination?

It’s something that Apollo astronauts did in the 1960s. And this week, Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson became the first person to ride into space aboard a rocket he helped fund.

As NASA prepares to return humans to the moon and the private space race heats up, we look back to the anniversary of when man first landed on the moon in July 1969.

It raises the question of what we’ll do next. Perhaps future generations of the Ingenuity helicopter will serve as scouts for astronauts exploring Mars.

Defying gravity

Everyone who witnessed the Apollo 11 lunar landing has a memory: where they were, what they felt, how they watched.

Imagine if it were your dad walking on the moon.

In a remarkable two-part series, the children of the Apollo astronauts and flight directors have shared their stories of what it was like to grow up with a front-row seat to history.

The astronaut families lived close together in suburbs formed around Johnson Space Center in Houston. The kids played and went to school and formed crushes on each other. The mothers kept everything running, while the fathers went on business trips — to the moon.

Ocean secrets

It’s Shark Week, and the Wonder Theory crew are big fans of these underwater predators with an image problem.

Sharks get a bad rap, but we’re betting you don’t know some of the most surprising things about them — some even glow in the dark.

These hunters of the deep blue have endured for millions of years and evolved to survive in incredibly harsh environments.

They bring balance to the global ocean and have one of the longest life spans across the animal kingdom. But did you know the world almost lost them entirely at one point?

Fantastic creatures

Dogs really will keep on loving you because it’s the only thing they want to do — and there is science behind that.

Fido has been hanging out with humans for more than 14,000 years, which gives dogs certain skills when it comes to understanding what people think or feel, according to new research.

Scientists compared dog puppies to gray wolf puppies as they worked through a series of activities. At the end of the day, dog puppies were more trusting and bonded with humans, while wolf pups remained wary.

The research could shed more light on the connection between dogs and humans and how they help us in everyday life.

Lunar update

Moon wobble may sound like a new dance craze, but this period in the lunar cycle will lead to a dramatic surge in high-tide floods in the US in the mid-2030s, according to NASA.

The moon’s gravitational pull is the main cause of tides on Earth. When a wobble occurs in the lunar orbit, high tides get higher and low tides get lower.

And this is going to be a problem as global sea levels rise over the next decade due to our ongoing climate crisis, leading to coastal flooding.

Some cities could experience more drastic and frequent floods than others.

Mission critical

The manatees need our help.

Unfortunately, more manatees have died in the first half of this year in Florida than ever before. This “unusual mortality event” is more than twice the number of Florida manatees that died in 2020.

Many of these gentle slow-moving giants lived in the Indian River Lagoon, which serves as a winter home for the marine creatures that connects to the Atlantic Ocean. The estuary was once filled with seagrasses for the manatees to munch on, but 60% of it has disappeared due to pollution.

If their mortality rates continue to spike, manatees could reach the near-extinction levels they once faced decades ago.


Consider our interest captured:

— Space lovers rejoice! Put a visit to the world’s largest astronomy museum on your wish list. Even the architecture reflects the mysteries of the cosmos.

— Curious about yourself? New research suggests this simple word test can reveal just how creative you are.

— What happens to pet store goldfish if they’re set free in a pond or lake? They grow — to the size of a football. And if you’re in Utah, apparently it’s raining fish.

Like what you’ve read? Oh, but there’s more. Sign up here to receive in your inbox the next edition of Wonder Theory, brought to you by CNN Space and Science writer Ashley Strickland, who finds wonder in planets beyond our solar system and discoveries from the ancient world.

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