The most unrealistic thing in space operas is the notion that the human crew could do anything in terms of gunnery or navigation better than a computer.
While definitely not using realistic physics in any way, I liked a space battle in one of Iain M. Banks' Culture novels. A horribly beweaponed Culture ship is describing to its human passenger precisely how it is outwitting and annihilating its alien foes, mentioning that there's a particularly good moment coming up - eventually admitting that it's merely running through a slow-motion replay, the real battle having been over in a matter of milliseconds.
Whether some geological formation is called a deposit for some mineral is depending not only on the characteristics of the local geology, it is at first a question of economics: Does it make sense to extract the mineral here, or will it be cheaper to buy somewhere else and get it shipped? When we are talking about the exhaustion of deposits, we always have to keep the qualifier in mind "under current technological and economical conditions".
It has nothing to do with evolution, though the human DNA shows the remainings of several retro virus infections that were kept in the genome, but seems mostly unfunctional right now.
Local lakes (Tchernobyl borders to a very extensive swamp region, the Pinsk marshes) show very high levels of gene defects in newts and frogs -- not because they got too much radiation, but because migratory predators are missing that normally would eliminate those specimen.
I know very little about them or where they came from, but I do know that the continued flow of hundreds of billions of dollars per year to who-knows-who depends on the inability of the US to extricate itself from this quagmire. And so now we have these public decapitations, clearly designed to inflame the public and create a political environment guaranteeing that the torrent of war money continues for years to come. And when that finally starts to slow, who doubts that some other convenient outrage will be perpetrated to start the cycle all over again?
The idea that you can topple the prima causa by attacking the conclusions is naive. The premise is all that's about it. The Moon landings have to be fake. Everything else is just a corollary.
The Planetary Society also has decent in-depth coverage of (usually unmanned) spaceflight.
For space tourism flights to the International Space Station, they're regarded as spaceflight participants rather than 'proper' astronauts (or cosmonauts).
Having seen quite how much training fully qualified astronauts and cosmonauts have to go through, I wouldn't be surprised if they become some vaguely protected terms in the not-so-far future...