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Weird Stuff In Space

Weird Stuff In Space

On October 4th 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I; it became the first manmade object to orbit the Earth. In celebration of Sputnik’s fiftieth anniversary, Andrew Impey’s compiled some of the more bizarre objects to be fired into the great beyond.

(click on the links for the inside story)

10. Golf Clubs
Two golf balls have been hit in space. It probably means that the first contact we have with aliens will be when they arrive a bit narked, asking, "Is this your ball that just smashed my greenhouse window?"

9. Salmonella
It seems as though anyone can get a lift into space these days, even death-causing microbes. However, they didn't seem to like it since Salmonella's little space jaunt made them more potent.

8. Luke Skywalker's Light Sabre
No, were not joking. It's absolutely true - the light sabre that Luke himself used to fight the Dark Side is on its own six million mile trip into space. Even Chewbacca was there to see it off.

7. Sweet Potato
A top piece of stellar research happened when the Chinese blasted veg into the heavens to see how it would taste once back down on Earth. They found that it was pretty much the same.

6. Bird Droppings
It's no wonder that you can never get bird crap off your windscreen despite all that scrubbing. Severe storms and space orbit couldn't shift the stuff, but can it survive the heat of re-entry?

5. Inflatable Space Station
If you thought that space travel might get a bit dull after a while then think again. One company's idea for the future sounds as though there's going to be bouncy astro-castles galore.

4. Scotty's Ashes
When James Doohan died in 2005 there was only one place fitting for the ashes of Star Trek's Scotty to be laid to rest. He'll be boldly going until his cask canna take it any longer.

3. Cosmic Dancer
A sculpture was sent into space to “investigate ... the advantages of integrating art into the living and working environment". Or, if you cut the bull, to investigate how to get famous.

2. Sea Urchins
Animals of all shapes and sizes have made the trip into space including a group of particularly adventurous sea urchins. They'll be so disappointed when the get to the Sea of Tranquility.

1. Anything you want
A Californian company is offering you the chance to send anything you want for a trip into space. Anything you want, that is, as long as it'll fit in a coke can and isn't too heavy. The wife'll have to stay.

Great articles on the Null:

- Interesting - 'No fear' pill on the way
- Unsettling - Noxious niffs of new cars
- Oh stop it - The scratch and sniff diet
- Gadgets - Weird stuff from the Null shop
- Weird - Snot helps cyber-hooters smell
- Weirdos - Boffins bottle the smell of microbial farts

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Title image: Frank Hermers/N
For other image credits see individual articles

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20 Dec 2008
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