Space, by it's very nature, is a big place. Which is just as well because there's an awful lot of cultural flotsam and jetsam and unwanted bric-a-brac floating around in the cosmos. A list recently published in the Telegraph details 100 things that have been sent hurtling into the great unknown in the past six decades, and it makes for some pretty interesting, entertaining, and strangely confusing reading.
For example, you wouldn't necessarily expect to stumble across a lego toy, a Chuck Berry song or a sound recording of a shepherd herding sheep on your intergalactic adventures would you?
But alongside Luke Skywalker's Lightsaber, a colour photograph of the city of Oxford, Andy Warhol's drawing of a penis and a giant 3D printer, you can expect to find some pretty bizarre artefacts if you're an extraterrestrial adventurer hopping from star to star.
On your planetary pilgrimage, you might accidentally bump into The Beatles' song "Across the Universe," which is hurtling through the cosmos at a humble speed of 186,000 miles per second. It's destination? The North Star, Polaris, which is 431 light years away from earth.
The song was beamed into space by NASA in 2008 via its Deep Space Network. The song also comes with a simple message from Paul McCartney, "Send my love to the aliens. All the best, Paul."
The question is, are The Beatles as universally adored as Macca believes, and will the chirpy's scouter greeting enrage some psychopathic life-form on planet 'ugtrtsheqcfthtroppadfesaalozzzz', leading to some technologically advanced but morally bankrupt life-forms invading our blue planet out of a desire to simply put an end to the mop tops incessant pollution of the space waves?
Yet, as a colour photograph of a tree with daffodils, dirt from the pitcher's mound at Yankee Stadium, a piece of the rudimentary airplane the Wright brothers flew in 1903, a sound recording of a tractor, a soccer ball, a copy of Playboy Magazine, a saxophone, the X-Ray of a hand, the 2008 remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, a sound recording of a shepherd herding sheep and sea urchin sperm prove, our desire to reach out and touch our intergalactic brothers and sisters is as strong as ever.
Lunar Mission One– an ambitious British crowdfunded project to use public donations to fund a moon landing in 2024 – is gaining interest and gathering momentum, but what new cultural gems will the new mission boldly take where no such materialistic voyage has gone before to represent the dizzying heights of human endeavor and profundity of our culture?
A One Direction album? A signed copy of Kim Kardashian's butt? A discarded McDonald's carton? Who knows. One thing we should all bear in mind. Space is like the internet, you never really know who's out there, so perhaps it's wise to not give too much personal information away about life on earth.
Let us finish with another delicate sample of some of the more bizarre things that are currently floating around in space, but be warned, after reading it, you might just have an inkling of why black holes were invented.
Lego mini-figurines of Galileo and the Roman deities Jupiter and Juno
A sound recording of a kiss between a mother and child
Melancholy Blues, performed by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven
A black and white diagram of human sex organs
Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry
Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground by blues musician Blind Willie Johnson
Buzz Lightyear toy. The astronaut action figure of the Toy Story films went in 2008 with Discovery mission STS-124
A sound recording of the rain
Lots of dead space monkeys, many called Albert
Claus Oldenberg's drawing of Mickey Mouse
A portion of the remains of Krafft Ehricke (1917–1984), rocket scientist
25,800 text messages from Australians, in a 2009 project called Hello From Earth, sent to Gliese 581
100,000 Craigslist advertisements, including 'Free kittens to a good home'
A corned beef sandwich from a Cocoa Beach, Florida deli, taken by John Young in 1965. It disintegrated in the low gravity
A sound recording of a blacksmith working
A printed message, written in 1977, from President Jimmy Carter
Lots and lots of vomit bags
Four cans of Pepsi and four cans of Coke, which were on board the Challenger in 1985
Pizza Hut paid nearly £750,000 in 2000 to become the first company to deliver pizza in space – to Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachov
A sound recording of ocean waves breaking, on 12-inch gold-plated copper discs
A sound recording of "a tame dog"
An hour long recording of the brainwaves of Ann Druyan
A film poster from the 1984 Val Kilmer movie Top Secret!
Up In The Air, a pop single from actor Jared Leto's band 30 Seconds To Mars.
A sound recording of a heartbeat
A greeting in Korean from Soon Hee Shin, saying "Please be well."
A sound recording of a hyena
A triple barrel TP-82 capable of 40 gauge shotgun rounds, taken by Soviet cosmonauts in 1965
The ashes of Gene Roddenberry, the man who created Star Trek, who had his remains shot into space in 1997
A greeting in Zulu from Fred Dube, telling aliens: "We greet you, great ones. We wish you longevity."