Space exploration is still viewed as the final frontier. It’s a big, wide-open universe out there, and mankind has always felt the need to get out there, get a good long look at the virtually infinite emptiness, and make some calculations about the likelihood of meeting other living things. But, it seems that before we get to the whole making contact with other sentient life business, we thought it might just be a good idea to send a few random odds and ends into space first.
Elon Musk recently sent a Tesla Roadster into space, headed for Mars. Why, you ask? Because why not. After all, a vehicle in space is about as noticeable as a single grain of sand on a beach. And this isn’t the most unusual thing that’s been sent into space either. Take a look at some of the completely random things that have landed up in the dark void.
For example, in 2008 the popular character from the Toy Story franchise, Buzz Lightyear, set about literally getting in a bit of space adventuring in 2008. How would such a random and bizarre thing happen? Simple; the action figure was taken aboard the International Space Station, and stayed there for over a year orbiting the earth.
The intention of the action figure was part of an educational initiative launched at the time, aiming to get youngsters interested in space travel, and science in general. Once returning to earth the action figure was placed in a museum. If you have aspirations of pulling a Buzz Lightyear and have around 60 million dollars to spare, you could book a flight on Space X and go to space too. Or, you could start playing progressive jackpot pokies right about now, and see if you can save up!
A Plastic Lightsaber
At some point, one asks if perhaps space programmes are just running out of things to put aboard the International Space Station. Especially when you learn that a lightsaber prop from Star Wars was flown into space. And not just any plastic lightsaber, the one used by Mark Hamill himself in Return of the Jedi. So, a very valuable plastic lightsaber in nerd culture.
Why on earth was a lightsaber prop sent to space? Apparently because there was an effort to have items signalling great accomplishments on earth aboard the International Space Station. It sounds like an odd reason, and perhaps it’s safer to just call the move a bizarre publicity stunt.
It’s fairly well known, at least to those interested in space travel, that a golf ball was hit on the surface of the moon. For very good reason, of course; everyone wants to play a bit of golf on the moon.
Either way, the fact that the golf ball was hit on the moon means that golf clubs had to be lugged all the way from earth to the lunar surface. You might be thinking that there is precious little space on shuttles, and the space might have been best used for something else. You would be dead wrong. It was golf clubs all the way. And, if you’re curious, the golf ball flew a rather impressive 182 meters.
It was clear from the day the first space rocket was constructed that there needed to be more dirt in space. So, in 2008 that wish was granted, and a bit of dirt was flown off into space to take it’s place among the stars. A truly noble effort from NASA, everyone can agree.
It was dirt from the Yankee Stadium, to be more specific, and was taken aboard a mission into outer space by an astronaut who happened to be a Baseball fanatic. Most astronauts take something with them that reminds them of home, and in this case it just happened to be a bit of dirt.