Following the space race with the US, the Russian space program found itself strapped for cash. To help keep their cosmonauts and the Mir space station flying, they sold space on the station to film commercials.
There have been many practical jokes played in space both by the astronauts and ground controllers. The very first was a prank pulled by Gemini 6 astronauts Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford on December 6, 1965.
Some of the Research for "Space Oddities"
One chapter of the book deals with traditions like the superstition of eating peanuts to insure a successful mission, the steak and egg breakfast, and wake up calls like this one by Robin Williams for the flight of STS-26.
Forgotten Stories of Mankind's Exploration of Space
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Release Date: June 1, 2021
I had a blast researching the stories that I would include in my new book, "Space Oddities: Forgotten Stories of Mankind's Exploration of Space". I especially enjoyed traveling down rabbit holes to find some interesting videos like these that I thought you would enjoy.