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Rediff.com  » News » PHOTOS: 10 STRANGEST objects sent into space

PHOTOS: 10 STRANGEST objects sent into space

June 19, 2014 10:44 IST

Playboy playmates

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Days after a coffee chain announced that it would send an espresso machine to the International Space Station so that astronauts could enjoy hot, freshly brewed coffee, Rediff.com looks back at the strangest, quirkiest items that man has sent into space.

Back-up crew on aboard the Apollo 12 mission inserting photocopies photos of  Playboy playmates into the checklists that they carried on their moon mission. When Charles Conrad and Alan Bean took out their booklets for their moon walk, they were flabbergasted to find the photographs.

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Image: The cover of the December 1969 Playboy magazine, which was photocopies and placed in the astronauts' checklist.


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Lego figurines

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In January 2012, two Canadian teenagers sent a Lego man into the outer reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere using a home-stitched parachute and equipment found on Craigslist. The entire journey, which lasted 97 minutes, was captured using four cameras.

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Image: A video grab of the Lego figurine that was sent into space.
Photographs: Reuters
Tags: Lego , Earth

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Ashes of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry

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In 1992, a lipstick-sized capsule was delivered to outer space by the space shuttle Columbia on its STS-52 mission, which carried the ashes of Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the cult show Star Trek.

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Photographs: Gene Rodenberry website

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Luke Skywalker's Lightsaber

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As an homage to the 1977 classic sci-fi film Star Wars: A New Hope, NASA took the lightsaber that Luke Skywalker himself (Mark Hamill) used to fight the Dark Side 6 million miles into space. In fact, the Jedi weapon was personally sent off in the presence of Chewbacca himself. After the six million mile journey in space, the weapon was then returned to LucasFilm.

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Photographs: LucasFilm

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Dirt from the Yankees Stadium

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A vial of dirt from the pitcher’s mound at Yankee Stadium, the home ofMajor League Baseball's New York Yankees, flew on the space shuttle Endeavour's STS-123 mission in 2008.

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Image: Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker slides into second base during a match with the New York Yankees at the Yankees Stadium.
Photographs: Anthony Gruppuso/Reuters

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Buzz Lightyear

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As part of an educational and public outreach mission, NASA teamed up with Disney to launch an action figure of the beloved character Buzz Lightyear, from Disney-Pixar’s film Toy Story, into space. A 12-inch tall Buzz flew to the International Space Station on Discovery’s STS-124 mission in May 2008.

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Photographs: NASA

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Cans of Coca-Cola & Pepsi

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In 1985, special modified cans of Coca Cola and Pepsi soda rode aboard the space shuttle Challenger on its STS-51F mission. The trip added more fuel to the so-called ‘Cola Wars’ between the Coca-Cola Company and Pepsi, Co.

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Photographs: NASA
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Golf club and balls

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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.”

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Photographs: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

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Jamestown Colony Cargo Tag

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A small piece of history, in the form of a metal cargo tag from the Jamestown colony, flew aboard the space shuttle Atlantis on its STS-117 mission in June 2007. The historic tag was unearthed at Jamestown, the location of the first permanent English settlement in the Americas in 1607.

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Photographs: NASA

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Ruhnama, the Book Of the Soul

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A copy of Ruhnama, the Book of the Soul written by Turkmenistan’s President for Life Saparmurat Niyazov in 2001. The book is a ridiculous moral guide that is required by law to be read by all Turkmeni citizens, and in 2005 Niyazov paid an unspecified amount of money to have it shot into space along with a pair of Japanese satellites.

 

 

 

 


Image: A monument built in honour of the Ruhnama in Ashgabat.


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