I read this week's XKCD and learned a fun new fact about the first contact with the moon.

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A replica of the ball that they mention in the comic is shown below:

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Gratis the wiki page on Luna 2. Source

My question from this is:

Since this event, have we ever sent a payload with the express purpose of screaming into the void that we were there? I would including anything from "Apollo planting a flag on the moon" to "Elon musk launching a Telsa into orbit around the sun". What are some of the more surprising non-scientific payloads that have been sent into space with a focus on things left behind?

Is this too open-ended of a question?


Perhaps a community wiki, since the answer will be a large, but finite list?

  • Pioneer 10 and 11 carried plaques featuring pictorial messages.
  • Voyager carried a Golden Record containing audio recordings of representative Earth sounds.
  • The Phoenix lander carried a DVD of fictional works about Mars
  • MAVEN carried a collection of haiku
  • New Horizons carried a sample of Clyde Tombaugh's ashes.
  • The Apollo 11 lunar lander had a commemorative plaque
  • Apollo 15 left a Fallen Astronaut memorial on the Moon
  • Cassini carried a DVD with names of members of the public
  • Hayabusa dropped almost 900,000 names to the surface of the asteroid Itokawa
  • Deep Impact carried 650,000 names to Comet Tempel 1
  • Spirit and Opportunity carried four million names

Items not individually referenced are from here

(Literally thousands of commemorative items were carried into space by Shuttle and ISS missions and returned - I am assuming returned items are ground-ruled out)

  • $\begingroup$ Carried "names"? As in names printed out on paper? Also-- do you want me to VTC this question as too broad? I can if you think I should. $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Mar 21 '19 at 13:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The names were on some kind of storage media, DVDs or the like. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Mar 21 '19 at 13:55

Luna 10 carried a set of solid-state oscillators that had been programmed to reproduce the notes of "The Internationale", so that it could be broadcast live to the 23rd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.


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