We are only a week away from the Orion test flight and the NASA scientists and engineers are busy prepping the spacecraft for its first journey. As we know the flight itself will be unmanned but there are several other artifacts and precious cargo the flight will be taking with it. Here’s a list of some of the interesting artifacts and mementos the Orion will be taking:

  • An oxygen hose from an Apollo 11  used in the first moonwalk in 1969
  • Tiny sample of lunar soil that to inspire students toward science and engineering fields
  • A prehistoric fossil from a Tyrannosaurus Rex from the Denver Science Museum
  • Radiation experiment designed by the students who won the Exploration Design Challenge
  • Art work commissioned by Lockheed Martin and a recording of “We Shall Overcome” by Denyce Graves
  • Poem by Marshall Jones and a small sculpture by Ed Dwight
  • Cookie Monster’s cookie, Ernie’s rubber ducky, Slimey the Worm and Grover’s cape will fly some 3,600 miles above Earth and come back to take prized spots on the Sesame Street set where millions of children will watch.
  • A microchip with the names of more than a million people who submitted their names to be part of NASA’s exploration efforts will make the trip, as well.

All these mementos and memorabilia are not unusual cargo for any space mission, it is actually NASA’s space age tradition. Ever since its Mercury Astronauts carried dimes in their spacesuits. The items mentioned above and countless others will be flying on the first iconic space flight of this century and NASA hopes that they serve as an inspiration to young aspiring scientists and engineers around the world.

Image Source: NASA