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First fireflies in space: "As if I were walking through a field of fireflies," was the breathtaking report John Glenn radioed to Earth in February 1962 after swarms of yellowish-green luminous smidgens drifted past the windows of his Mercury capsule. The fireflies remained a mystery for three months until the next flight when Scott Carpenter figured out they were frost particles flaking off the outside of his capsule.
First to see all of Earth at one time: Apollo 8 astronauts Frank Borman, James A. Lovell Jr., William A. Anders in 1968 telecast that extraordinary view of the full Earth from 250,000 miles out in space.
Most colorful stuff on the Moon: Orange soil found in 1972 on the Moon near Shorty Crater by Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene A. Cernan and Harrison H. Schmitt.
First artwork in space: America's first official space artwork, launched from shuttle Discovery in March 1989, was a seven-pound cube-shaped sculpture, Boundless Aperture, created by Boston artist Lowry Burgess, a professor at Massachusetts College of Art. It was conceived in the 1960s, part of The Quiet Axis, including a sculpture buried in the floor of the Pacific Ocean off Easter Island and another lugged into central Afghanistan's Hindu Kush mountains.
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