10 Offbeat Things Humans Have Launched Into Space

Holy Relics

In 2012, the first commercial craft launched by the U.S. headed for the International Space Station. Although this unmanned spacecraft carried necessities, such as food and storage bags, it also traveled with more than 12,000 souvenirs bound for the stars and back. Presumably to be offered as mementos to those involved in the project, the patches and medallions weren't meant to stay at the International Space Station [source: Collect Space]. But that's not always the case.

The International Space Station is a final resting place for dozens of personal artifacts deposited by astronauts, including religious relics. Russian cosmonauts, for example, have transported religious tomes, icons and crosses -- including one believed to contain a piece of the wooden cross on which Jesus was crucified -- to the space station. Astronauts from the U.S. have contributed, too, leaving behind several relics of saints [source: Catholic News Agency].