40 Of The Strangest Items We’ve Sent Into Outer Space

by Ariana Seigel
Ariana lives in NYC but grew up in FL. She loves comedy, strong coffee, and impromptu performances by the mariachi bands on the subway.

I know that I’m not alone in my love of all things space-related.

Whether I’m looking through my telescope at an amazing view of the stars, or listening to this moving rendition of “Space Oddity” sung aboard the International Space Station, I find the far reaches of the galaxy to be an extremely exciting frontier.

And when I discovered the laundry list of strange things that humankind has sent into space over the years, my inner astronaut was quite excited. Did you know that a Beatles song is currently traveling across the universe at a whopping 186,000 miles an hour? I certainly didn’t!

I knew that humans and other animals have spent time exploring space, but I couldn’t believe just how many strange items we’ve actually sent up there as well.

Scroll through below for a look at some of the most bizarre items that have made their way into outer space.

What would you like to send into space? Let us know in the comments!

[H/T: Telegraph, Popular Mechanics, ShortList]

1. Fittingly, we brought the Buzz Lightyear Toy Story action figure with Discovery mission STS-124.

2. Luke Skywalker’s light saber was also immortalized when it was launched aboard the Discovery in 2007.

3. In 2010, Amelia Earhart’s watch took a ride through space when astronaut Shannon Walker brought it aboard Soyuz TMI-19.

4. A sound recording of rain is a unique snippet of audio that we’ve brought into space.

5. Humans also recently brought a 3D printer to space, where they printed the first 3D object while in orbit.

6. In 2000, Pizza Hut actually delivered a pizza – in space  to Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachov.

7. Astronaut John Young smuggled a corned beef sandwich aboard the Gemini 3 in 1965 when he realized his dehydrated food options probably wouldn’t keep him satisfied.

8. Tortillas are actually a staple of space food, as they surprisingly don’t produce as many annoying floating crumbs as other chips.

9. Coca-Cola wanted to be the first soda in space, so they spent $250,000 to develop a can that could be opened without gravity.

10. In honor of Monty Python’s Flying Circus cheese shop sketch, SpaceX brought an entire wheel of Le Brouere cheese aboard their ship.

11. A piece of wood from the original Wright brothers’ airplane was shuttled aboard the lunar module of Apollo 11.

12.  In 2008, astronaut (and Yankees fan) Garret Reisman brought dirt from the pitcher’s mound at Yankee Stadium aboard his flight.

13. As a tribute, we sent up the remains of Clyde Tombaugh, the scientist who discovered Pluto.

14. SpaceLab2 carried bits of bone and eggshell from the duck-billed dinosaur Maiasaura Peeblesorum.

15. The creator of Star Trek Gene Roddenberry’s remains were (appropriately) shot into the far reaches of the universe that he loved so much.

16. Apollo 12 actually carried a Playboy on its ship in November 1969.

17. We’ve brought recordings of animals into space, such as dogs and hyenas.

18. The president of Turkmenistan launched a copy of his book into space, hoping for some extra publicity.

19. Jared Leto also got in on the action, sending his single “Up in the Air” aboard a flight.

20. In 2008, we beamed the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still to Alpha Centauri.

21. Dozens of chimps and monkeys have traveled to space and safely back  with several still alive all these years later.

22. Salmonella is just one of the many tiny organisms we’ve brought into space.

23. We’ve even brought up tardigrades, which are itty-bitty micro-animals with eight legs.

24. Tiny see-through fish called medaka were launched into space to help study the effects of space travel on bone density.

25. In 2010, the Iranian Space agency sent a whole zoo’s worth of animals into space  including turtles, a mouse, and a few worms.

26. We also thought it was a good idea to send a Doritos commercial 42 light years away.

27. NASA sent up a treadmill and named it after Stephen Colbert when he tried to troll one of their online contests.

28. The classic song “Johnny B. Goode”was sent into space for astronauts (and anyone else who might be listening) to enjoy.

29. Author Nikesh Shukla tried to promote an upcoming book by sending a whole lamb chop on a fork.

30. President Jimmy Carter didn’t send any food, but he did record a message to be sent aboard a mission.

31. We also can’t forget the time we played golf on the moon.

32. To keep in touch with his spirituality, Buzz Aldrin brought communion bread and a vial of wine aboard one of his missions.

33. We blasted greetings of kindness in Zulu, letting the aliens know, “We greet you, great ones. We wish you longevity.”

34. The Soviets had no qualms about bringing loaded shotguns aboard their flights.

35. And, of course, we brought remains from Jamestown aboard Apollo  in the hopes that someone out there could help us finally solve the mystery of the lost colony of Roanoke.

36. Scottish whiskey Ardbeg became the first whiskey in space, when it sent some samples to the ISS.

37. In 1972, Charles Duke left his mark on the moon by placing a portrait of his family among the rocks.

38. We once hurtled a spatula around the Earth, clocking it at faster than the speed of sound  meaning it orbited our planet every 90 minutes.

39. Twenty-eight thousand text messages were beamed into deep space as part of project “Hello from Earth.” We’re still waiting to hear back.

40. To celebrate the 2014 World Cup, astronauts were sent a soccer ball to play a zero-gravity game.

As curious citizens of the universe, we’ve sent some truly bizarre and interesting representations of humankind out into the great unknown.

What do you think is the strangest item we’ve sent into space? Let us know in the comments.

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