Dinosaurs to pizza: 7 of the oddest things sent into space
Gazing at the night sky we often ask ourselves if there's anyone out there on planets orbiting faraway stars in the deep vastness of the universe.
In an attempt to communicate with the unknown, we've launched orbital missions and shot space probes past the edges of our Solar System. But it might have taken a few bizarre turns along the way though, as humanity has launched some unusual objects into space to tell the aliens something about who we are.
Luke Skywalker's lightsaber
Star Wars is one of our most epic sci fi sagas, so we should definitely teach the aliens all about it. And what better way than sending them Luke Skywalker's green lightsaber from 1983's Return of the Jedi. It was shot into space as part of a celebration of the 30th anniversary of Star Wars and was accompanied into low Earth orbit by space shuttle Discovery.
We've even tried to give space dwellers a taste of Earth's best snacks. In 2001, US restaurant chain Pizza Hut proudly declared themselves to be the first to deliver pizza to outer space. Ordered by a Russian cosmonaut, Yuri Usachov, the salami pizza traveled aboard a Russian rocket all the way to the International Space Station. The cosmonaut said he had thoroughly enjoyed both the pizza and the service.
100,000 Craigslist advertisements
To make sure aliens would have no trouble finding a flat or a job on Earth, a company called Deep Space Communications Network beamed the postings into space in 2005. Some of those who decided to answer the ads may already be living among us.
Works of art have also been sent to make their way through the disquieting chill of space.
In 2013, an image of Leonardo Da Vinci's timeless Mona Lisa made it to the space as part of NASA experiment to prove the effectiveness of laser communications. Reproduced by lasers, the Mona Lisa was successfully beamed to the Moon, where it can be enjoyed by little green men.
Painting of a penis
A less traditional and slightly more bizarre miniature painting of a penis by Andy Warhol was also sent on a lunar expedition aboard the Apollo 12 lander.
Warhol was reportedly one of six artists whose mini drawings were taken on the mission. Crammed onto one ceramic chip, the paintings started what was called "the Moon Museum".
Amazingly, even the long-extinct dinosaurs have been on their own space journey. Back in 1985, bone pieces and eggshell of a 76-million-year-old hadrosaur Maiasaura peeblesorum traveled to SpaceLab 2.
Maiasaura became the first dinosaur in space, followed by another dino, a Triassic theropod Coelophysis, which made its space voyage in 1998, when the shuttle Endeavor borrowed its skull.
Stephen Hawking's message of love
One of the most recent space journeys was made by a voice message recorded by late British physicist Stephen Hawking. Hawking, who had all his life been fascinated with space and black holes, made his posthumous outer space voyage, after his message of "peace and love" was beamed into the nearest black hole from the European Space Agency satellite dish at the Cebreros Station in Spain.
If they are ever discovered, all of these amusing objects, launched in an attempt to build some intergalactic ties, are sure to cause some confusion and possibly even misguide the ETs. Ultimately, we humans communicate to the best of our abilities.
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