20 Oddities That Were Sent Into Space
There’s always been an interest into what’s outside of our planet. As we’ve explored what’s outside of our world and into the stars above our home, there’s been some pretty interesting things we brought along. From films, music, toys, food, to even human remains, there are all kinds of oddities that broke its way through our atmosphere and into space. Take a look at these twenty random items that were attached to cargo and even smuggled out of our planet.
Across The Universe – The Beatles
February 4th, 2008, marked the 40th anniversary of the song Across The Universe by The Beatles. To celebrate the song’s recording, NASA transmitted the recording to the star Polaris, which is 431 light years away from Earth. This was done through a 70m antenna in the Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex.
Luke Skywalker Lightsaber Prop
What better weapon to have with you while traveling through space. A Luke Skywalker Lightsaber prop from 1983 was sent to space on the 2007 Discover shuttle-flight mission STS-120. For two weeks, the prop actually made it to space and back.
Buzz Lightyear Toy
Very similar to the Luke Skywalker Lightsaber prop, a Buzz Lightyear toy from the Toy Story films was given a look into the galaxies up close. The astronaut action figure was sent into space while on the Discover mission STS-124 back in 2008.
Dirt was sent into space but not just any dirt. The particular dirt we’re referring to was actually taken from the Yankee Stadium pitcher mound. Astronaut Garrett Reisman brought the vial of dirt and other mementos from the Yankees baseball team on the STS-123 mission in 2008.
Gerard Kitchen O’Neil Remains
Space activist and American physicist, Gerard Kitchen O’Neil, had some of his remains sent to space. Gerard was diagnosed with leukemia in 1985 and on April 27, 1992, he passed away due to complications of the disease. A sample of his remains was attached to a Pegasus XL rocket which was launched into Earth’s orbit on April 21st, 1997.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
Twentieth Century Fox gave a special screening of The Day the Earth Stood Still, a remake of the Robert Wise 1951 classic. Through the use of equipment at Cape Canaveral, the film was beamed to one of Earth’s nearest star systems, Alpha Centauri.
Pizza Hut sent up one of their salami topping pizzas to the International Space Station. The whole event marked the first pizza delivery to space and Pizza Hut even managed to make a commercial out of it.
Charles Duke was an astronaut for Apollo 16. During his mission of setting up a Solar Wind Collector, Charles left a family photograph on the moon’s surface. This particular photograph has been on the moon since 1972.
Playboy Magazine Photos
Played out as a prank, members of the all-Navy prime crew and the all-Air Force backup crew placed pictures of various Playboy Playmates in the Apollo 12 lunar checklist. Astronauts were unaware of the images until looking through the checklist during their first EVA.
Sounds And Greetings
Included in the Voyager spacecraft that launched in 1977 was a phonograph record. Intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life or for future humans, the record contained various sounds from Earth along with greetings in fifty-nine different languages.
A small 1.9cm x 1.3 cm ceramic wafer that contained art from various artists of the late 1960’s was sent to the moon with the Apollo 12 crew. Forrest Myers had the idea to leave the artwork on the moon but after his attempt through NASA proved to be a massive undertaking, Myers went with another idea, secretly stash the artwork on the Apollo 12. While there’s no real way of knowing for sure, Myers states that he managed to get one of the ceramic wafers on the intrepid landing module thanks to a Grumman Aircraft engineer.
The Fallen Astronaut Sculpture
To commemorate all the astronauts that have given their lives in the cause of advancement and space exploration, Paul Van Hoeydonck created the Fallen Astronaut. This is an aluminum sculpture that is only 8.5-centimeter big. The crew of Apollo 15 took the sculpture and placed it on the Moon.
Maiasaura Peeblesorum Remains
The dinosaur known as the Maiasaura peeblesorum has some remains within space. Back in 1985, bits of bone along with eggshell was sent with astronaut Loren Acton during the Spacelab 2 mission.
Back in 1984, Coca-Cola wanted to be the first company to send a carbonated beverage into space. After getting the agreement from NASA, the company spent over $200,000 to develop a can and formula to allow their Coke to work without gravity and maintain carbonation. NASA then agreed to allow any soft drink to be stored in the Challenger shuttle if the container will work without gravity. Only Pepsi stepped up the challenge and in 1984 both Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola made it into space.
Corned Beef Sandwich
During the Gemini 3 1965 space mission, astronaut John Young smuggled on-board a corned beef sandwich. No one knew that he smuggled the sandwich into the shuttle until he sneaked it out to enjoy. However, the physical food actually could have put him in great risk. Crumbs from the food could have potentially clogged some of the equipment within the shuttle.
Amelia Earhart’s Watch
Amelia Earhart, the first female trans-Atlantic passenger in 1928, had a memento on board the International Space Station. A watch that was worn by Amelia Earhart during her two trans-Atlantic flights was given to astronaut Shannon Walker in 2009 for a trip onboard the ISS.
Actor James Doohan Ashes
James Doohan might be most known for his role as Scotty on the 1960’s television series Star Trek. In 2012, during a mission to deliver materials and cargo to the ISS, SpaceX sent an unmanned Flacon 9 that carried the content along with James Doohan’s ashes. The stage that carried the ashes was detached from the Falcon 9 and remained in Earth’s orbit for about a year before it burned up on reentry.
NASA’s Juno probe is said to reach Jupiter in 2016. When it reaches Jupiter, it will orbit the planet for one earth year to study the atmosphere. Within the probe is three Lego figurines one of Roman’s God Jupiter and his wife, Juno, along with Galileo Galilei. These figurines were in partnership between NASA and LEGO to help inspire children to explore science and technology.
Cargo Tag From Jamestown
A recovered lead tag from Jamestown that was most likely attached to a shipping crate was sent to space. NASA placed the tag and two sets of coins in commemorating the first English settlement within the Americas on the space shuttle Atlantis in 2007.
Astronaut Gus Grissom piloted the second flight of Project Mercury in 1961. Before the flight, Gus Grissom took a few mementos for his family and friends. Some of these mementos included regular dimes and while his flight was a success, most of these mementos such as the dimes were lost within the ocean for nearly 30 years. Apparently the hatch to the vessel blew off unexpectedly which caused water to rush in. Because the helicopter couldn’t pick up the water filled vessel, Gus had to abandon everything inside.