"Send my love to the aliens. All the best, Paul."
That was the message from Paul McCartney when, in 2008, Nasa beamed into space the Beatles song Across the Universe via its Deep Space Network.
The Beatles song is travelling across the universe at a speed of 186,000 miles per second to reach North Star, Polaris, which is 431 light years away from Earth.
The desire to explore space is as strong as ever and Lunar Mission One – an ambitious British crowdfunded project to use public donations to fund a moon landing in 2024 – is gathering momentum. But what will the mission take into space to sum up human life? Space is already full of cultural artifacts and bric-a-brac from space missions over the past six decades. Space objects now include a tandoori lamb chop. It can only be a matter of time before a hot water bottle makes its way to Mars now that Nasa have announced that briny water found flowing on the Red Planet could sustain life.
If you think of some of the objects sent into space – a Louis Armstrong record, a golf ball, Lego, Luke Skywalker's Lightsabar, some pizza – the aliens they eventually reach may have a strange picture of what to expect from man. The Simpsons's Comic Book Guy, perhaps?
There is even a sound recording of the rain (presumably in case aliens ever visit Britain and want to know what to expect). In May 2015 it was revealed that one object not heading to space was Sarah Brightman. In July 2015, some of the remains of Clyde Tombaugh, the scientist who discovered Pluto, became the human remains to have travelled furthest in the universe. Tombaugh’s remains were on New Horizons as the spacecraft made its closest approach to Pluto. As UK astronaut Tim Peake prepares in December 2015 to make his landmark flight to the International Space Station (ISS), we look at what he might meet up there in space.
100 things that have been sent into space
1. The song Across the Universe by The Beatles
2. Lego mini-figurines of Galileo and the Roman deities Jupiter and Juno
3. A sound recording of a kiss between a mother and child
4. Luke Skywalker's Lightsaber (a prop from 1983 went up in 2007 with Discovery shuttle-flight mission STS-120)
5. A colour photograph of the city of Oxford
6. Melancholy Blues, performed by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven
7. A black and white diagram of human sex organs
8. Nascar starter flags (green)
9. JS Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No2 conducted by Karl Richter
10. Australia Morning Star and Devil Bird Aboriginal songs
11. A sound recording of a shepherd herding sheep
12. Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry
13. Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground by blues musician Blind Willie Johnson
14. Buzz Lightyear toy. The astronaut action figure of the Toy Story films went in 2008 with Discovery mission STS-124
15. A sound recording of the rain
16. A colour photograph of Snowflakes over Sequoia
17. A colour photograph of a tree with daffodils
18. Dirt from the pitcher’s mound at Yankee Stadium (taken by astronaut and Yankees fan Garret Reisman in 2008).
19. A piece of the rudimentary airplane the Wright brothers flew in 1903, when the aircraft came a few feet off of the ground
20. Two golden orb spiders, named Gladys and Esmerelda, were housed on the International Space Station in 2011
21. Lots of dead space monkeys, many called Albert
22. Andy Warhol's drawing of a penis, included on a small ceramic tile carried on Apollo 12
23. Claus Oldenberg's drawing of Mickey Mouse
24. The Fallen Astronaut, a small figurine by Belgian artist Paul Van Hoeydonk
25. An interactive video performance called ARTSAT from Austrian artist Richard Kriesche
26. Small bits of bone and eggshell from the duck-billed dinosaur Maiasaura peeblesorum, sent on SpaceLab2 in 1985
27. A saxophone
28. Holograms and cubes made from water samples from some of the world's major rivers, part of the Lowry Burgess's Boundless Cubic Lunar Aperture project
29. Arthur Woods's Cosmic Dancer, an aluminium sculpture painted with acrylics
30. A watercolour by Elizabeth Carroll Smith called When Dreams are Born
31. Primsa, a sculpture by artist Pierre Comte that consists of 14 small painted spheres each 2.5 cm in diameter with seven limbs extending from its axis
32. Two art prints by the German artist Michael Böhme
33. A piece of music composed by Blur
34. A DVD called Monochrome (for Mars) by Australian artist Stephen Little
35. A portion of the remains of space physicist Gerard K O'Neill (1927–1992)
36. A sound recording of an F-111 flyby
37. A portion of the remains of Krafft Ehricke (1917–1984), rocket scientist
38. The 2008 remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still was beamed to Alpha Centauri in 2008
39. 25,800 text messages from Australians, in a 2009 project called Hello From Earth, sent to Gliese 581
40. 100,000 Craigslist advertisements, including 'Free kittens to a good home'
41. A corned beef sandwich from a Cocoa Beach, Florida deli, taken by John Young in 1965. It disintegrated in the low gravity
42. Sea urchin sperm
43. Senegalese percussion recorded by Charles Duvelle
44. A sound recording of a ship's horn
45. A football (the Americans sent it into space called "a soccer ball")
46. Two sets of coins commemorating Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas, aboard the space shuttle Atlantis for a 2007 mission.
47. A giant 3D printer
48. A sound recording of a blacksmith working
49. A printed message, written in 1977, from President Jimmy Carter
50. Lots and lots of vomit bags
51. Four cans of Pepsi and four cans of Coke, which were on board the Challenger in 1985
52. Pizza Hut paid nearly £750,000 in 2000 to become the first company to deliver pizza in space – to Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachov
53. New Guinea Men's house song by Robert MacLennan
54. The remains of Clyde Tombaugh, the scientist who discovered Pluto
55. Gavotte en rondeau from the Partita No. 3 in E major for Violin
56. A sound recording of ocean waves breaking, on 12-inch gold-plated copper discs
57. A Cargo Tag from Jamestown, found by archaeologists researching the colony
58. The ashes of Star Trek's James Doohan, who played Scotty on the original television series
59. Up In The Air, a pop single from actor Jared Leto’s band 30 Seconds To Mars.
60. A sound recording of "a tame dog"
61. A recording of El Cascabel, in a mariachi interpretation by Antonio Maciel y Las Aguilillas, composed by Mexico's Lorenzo Barcelata
62. An hour long recording of the brainwaves of Ann Druyan
63. Japanese flute player Goro Yamaguchi playing Tsuru No Sugomori (Crane's Nest)
64. A golf ball hit on the moon by Apollo 14 mission astronaut Alan Shepard. He sent it 200 yards (182.9 meters) in zero-gravity
65. A set of mud pots
66. The sound recording of Morse Code
67. A Le Brouere cheese wheel (to honour the Monty Python’s Flying Circus cheese shop sketch)
68. A film poster from the 1984 Val Kilmer movie Top Secret!
69. The X-Ray of a hand
70. A copy of Ruhnama (The Book of the Soul), written by Saparmurat Niyazov, who was President of Turkmenistan from 1990 to 2006
71. A sound recording of laughter
72. A colour diagram of DNA structure
73. A photograph of the Sydney Opera House
74. A sound recording of a tractor
75. A Chosen Bun burger and chips meal (didn't reach outer space)
76. A Doritos commercial was sent 42 light years away to a star system called 47 Ursae Majoris, which is part of the Big Dipper.
77. The skull of a meat-eating Coelophysis from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History
78. A sound recording of a heartbeat
79. Charles Duke's family photograph, which was left on the ground at the moon. He was the lunar module pilot for Apollo 16
80. A sound recording of a horse and cart
.81 A greeting in Korean from Soon Hee Shin, saying "Please be well."
82. Tardigrades, or 'water bears', microscopic eight-legged creatures that can survive extreme temperatures
83. A sample of salmonella, aboard the space shuttle Atlantis in 2007 by Arizona State University. The bacteria became even more virulent in space
84. A sound recording of a hyena
85. The watch and a scarf owned by celebrated aviator Amelia Earhart
86. A sound recording of a steam train
87. A tandoori lamb chop. Sent in November 2014 by author Nikesh Shukla to promote his book Meatscape. The chop was attached to a fork.
88. HeLa cells, which are named for Henrietta Lacks, a cancer patient in the Fifties from whom they were sampled
89. A copy of Playboy Magazine, taken by a member of the backup crew of Apollo 12 in 1967
90. A vial of communion wine and communion bread, taken by astronaut Buzz Aldrin
91. A triple barrel TP-82 capable of 40 gauge shotgun rounds, taken by Soviet cosmonauts in 1965
92. Music of the Spheres, Johannes Kepler's Harmonices Mundi played by Laurie Spiegel
93. A sound recording of thunder
94. A sound recording of a someone sawing wood
95. Peruvian traditional panpipes and drums, courtesy of Casa de la Cultura
96. Beethoven's Symphony No 5, First Movement, played by The Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Otto Klemperer
97. A sound recording of crickets
98. A sound recording of Saturn V Lift-off
99. The ashes of Gene Roddenberry, the man who created Star Trek, who had his remains shot into space in 1997
100. A greeting in Zulu from Fred Dube, telling aliens: "We greet you, great ones. We wish you longevity."