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Top 10 Strange Objects Sent into Space

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posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 02:20 PM
I looked and didn't find this recent story here. Some of these objects are very odd choices and it makes me wonder who makes these decisions? Figurines, Golden Records, Buzz Lightyear, a Lead Cargo Tag?

"On Aug. 5, NASA launched the Juno probe, which, when it reaches Jupiter in 2016, will orbit the planet for one earth year studying its atmosphere before crashing into the surface. Aboard the spacecraft are..." ...

1. Three Lego Figurines:
The king of the Roman gods for whom the planet is named, right;
his wife Juno, center, with a magnifying glass;
and one of astronomer Galileo Galilei, left, holding both a telescope and a miniature planet Jupiter.
The placement of the objects is part of a partnership between NASA and the LEGO group to inspire children to explore science and technology.

2. Golden Records
Since 1977, when NASA probes Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched into space (where they still remain), any potential life forms with hearing abilities have had access to the sounds of earth. What are they? The sounds include music from different cultures and eras, as well as natural and man-made sounds (i.e., a kiss between a mother and child, the sounds of the wind, rain and surf), all on 12-in., gold-plated copper discs. The contents, selected by a committee chaired by the renowned Carl Sagan, also include a message from President Jimmy Carter as well as 115 images encoded in analog form. NASA also kindly included a cartridge and a needle for ease of use.

3. Lead Cargo Tag from Jamestown
Recovered from the bottom of a well by archaeologists researching the colony at Jamestown, Va., this lead tag reading "Yames Towne" was probably once attached to a shipping crate or trunk. NASA placed this artifact, along with two sets of coins commemorating Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas, aboard the space shuttle Atlantis for a March 2007 mission.

4. The Controversial Postal Covers
Apollo 15, which launched in 1971, was notable for being the first to use the open-topped moon buggy officially known as the Lunar Roving Vehicle. The mission was also famous for its astronauts, who became involved in controversy upon landing when it became known that they carried unauthorized souvenirs (almost 400 postage-stamp covers) aboard the flight, which they intended to sell upon their return to earth. The incident prompted NASA to take disciplinary action against the astronauts and create new rules about what could be carried into space.

5. Luke Skywalker's Lightsaber
A prop lightsaber from 1983's Return of the Jedi went up in October 2007 with Discovery shuttle-flight mission STS-120 in honor of the 30th anniversary of the release of 1977's Star Wars. It was escorted to a California airport by a person dressed as Chewbacca, flown to Houston, met there by more Star Wars–costumed folk, displayed for a bit at the Johnson Space Center, flown to Cape Canaveral, blasted off into space and then returned back to earth. The Force was with it, clearly.

6. Star Trek Ashes
James Doohan, who played Scotty on the original Star Trek television series (and in seven big-screen Star Trek films), had it rough. All he wanted was for his ashes to be shot into space, a process that seems simpler than it actually is. In May 2007, after a brief flight in suborbital space on the back of a private rocket, the ashes crashed down to the New Mexico desert. A year later, as part of another attempt to send his remains into the cosmos, a rocket carrying them exploded over the Pacific Ocean. Doohan was just trying to follow in the footsteps of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, who had his ashes shot into space (alongside those of Timothy Leary's) in 1997 and also had a tiny portion of his remains placed aboard Columbia mission STS-52 in 1992.

7. Grissom's Dimes
In July 1961, astronaut Gus Grissom piloted the second flight of the Project Mercury program, which was the first human-spaceflight program in the U.S. Grissom, who named the spacecraft the Liberty Bell 7 because of its shape, took along with him "50 dimes, each for the children of friends; three $1 bills; some small models of the capsule; and two sets of pilot's wings" — all things that would be deemed more valuable because they had traveled to space. His 15-min. 37-sec. flight was a success, but it was upon landing in the Atlantic Ocean that he realized those souvenirs were now extra weight. When a hatch to the craft unexpectedly blew off and flooded the Liberty Bell, Grissom had to escape — nearly drowning in his own spacesuit — and leave behind the coins because his rescue helicopter could not carry the water-filled vessel. The Liberty Bell sank, but was recovered 30 years later, along with some of the dimes.

8. Golf Club and Balls
Toward the end of his walk on the moon during the Apollo 14 mission, astronaut Alan Shepard informed NASA's Mission Control that he "happened to have" a six-iron golf club, which he had attached to the handle of a lunar scoop. He also had some balls. After a few unsuccessful swings (because of the bulk of his suit, Shepard could only use one hand), he was able to drive one of the balls "for miles and miles and miles." Upon his return to earth, Shepard donated the club to the U.S. Golf Association. The club pictured above on the right is a replica he gave to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

9. Family Portrait
It wasn't enough that Charles Duke became the youngest person ever (and only 1 of 12 total) to walk on the moon when he acted as lunar-module pilot aboard Apollo 16 in 1972. To make more of an imprint on the space rock, Duke decided to leave behind a portrait of his family (Duke, his wife Dotty and their sons Charles and Tom) on the moon's surface. And to be sure that everyone knew about it, Duke took a picture of the photograph with his Hasselblad 70-mm camera. The back of the photo, which is packed in transparent foil, reads: "This is the family of Astronaut Duke from Planet Earth. Landed on the Moon, April 1972."

10. Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear
Buzz Lightyear, the astronaut action figure of the Toy Story films, went up into space in 2008 with Discovery mission STS-124. It lived at the International Space Station for more than 450 days before landing back on earth on Sept. 11, 2009. It then received a ticker-tape parade at Walt Disney World alongside space icon Buzz Aldrin. (Naturally, Lightyear's presence in space was related to the opening of the Toy Story Mania! attractions at both Disney World and Disneyland.)

I know sometimes these are the results of school projects. I remember the naming of the Spirit and the Opportunity craft was just such a school project or contest. How did they decide on these items to send.?What is the significance of any of this stuff?

The rovers were named Spirit and Opportunity. The names were the winning entries in a naming contest NASA held in 2002. The winning entry came from a third-grade girl living in Scottsdale, Arizona. She was born in Russia and adopted by an American family. She chose the names to honor her feelings about America. Read more: Mars - Mars Exploration Rovers - Spacecraft, Nasa, Earth, January, Landing, and Figure

edit on 8-8-2011 by newcovenant because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 02:30 PM
Those are some random items! Especially the Lego figures...

Thanks for the info and thanks for reminding me what a crazy world it is we live in

posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 02:35 PM
reply to post by newcovenant

My name has been sent to Mars and the moon and on some other spacecraft. At one stage, don't know if they are still doing it, the Planetary Society and NASA gave ppl the opportunity to send their names along on some spacecraft.
Nerdish I think, but still cool

and don't forget the records on Pioneer 10, 11, Voyager 1 & 2

posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 02:45 PM
Wow, some strange things people do aside from Scotty wanting to send his ashes out there. Buzz Lightyear and those leggos should keep the alien children happy.

posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 03:05 PM

Originally posted by Hellhound604
reply to post by newcovenant

My name has been sent to Mars and the moon and on some other spacecraft. At one stage, don't know if they are still doing it, the Planetary Society and NASA gave ppl the opportunity to send their names along on some spacecraft.
Nerdish I think, but still cool

and don't forget the records on Pioneer 10, 11, Voyager 1 & 2

Thanks for those links. Those were very cool too. Star for you! If you can be named after a star I guess you can get your name into space as well. Cheers!

posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 03:24 PM
reply to post by newcovenant

somehow, just the knowledge of my name being on mars and the moon made me feel so much better. It gave me dreams of a better life, it gave me hope for the future of mankind .... but then, I am an idealist

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