This Week in Time Capsules: Retired Shuttles and Moldy Baseball Cards

This week we have a school in England that filled its new capsule with the latest in tech, a casket from the Reagan administration that for some reason includes biscuits and gravy, and a public ceremony in Florida which will show off a capsule for the retired space shuttle Atlantis. And a town that hates fun. Like, really hates fun.

Time Capsule Will Be Sealed Inside Space Shuttle Atlantis Next Week

On Monday a time capsule will be dedicated and sealed into a wall of the retired space shuttle Atlantis in Florida. Visitors to the Kennedy Space Center can check out a ceremony starting at 10am which includes some rare and wonderful items of a space era that has sadly been pushed into the history books.


The handful of items will be sealed away in Atlantis until 2061, when the time capsule (including mission patches from all 135 flights!) will be opened for those lucky people of the future. Will Americans of 48 years hence have seen humans set foot on Mars? Will vacations to the moon finally be a reality? Or will they look back fondly at the Space Shuttle program as the heyday of the American space program? Only time will tell, but hopefully the humans of 2061 will be planting their own time capsules in the crimson soil of Mars while high-fiving Curiosity. [Orlando Sentinel]

Casket Full of Moldy Baseball Cards and Biscuits Dug Up in Indiana

A casket in Yorktown, Indiana was dug up recently, revealing a 1987 time capsule with some badly damaged items. The casket included baseball cards, a box of biscuits and gravy, along with a handful of handwritten notes. All of the time capsule items were in pretty rough shape since water had seeped into the casket, reminding us yet again that there's literally nothing worse that you can do with something you want to preserve for future generations than to put it in the ground. [Star Press]

Former Mayor Surprised To See 1970 Public Library Capsule Opened (Early?)

The San Jose Public Library recently cracked open a time capsule from 1970 that few people were expecting to see anytime soon. The capsule included photographs, tape recordings, and newspaper clippings, all of which are now on display. Photos of the items have been uploaded to the SJPL's Flickr account and show that the condition of the items is really a mixed bag, with some of the letters not faring quite as well as other items.


As the San Jose Mercury News notes, some people who were around to see the capsule compiled were surprised to see it opened so soon. Ron James, the now 85-year-old former mayor of San Jose, told the newspaper that he didn't expect to be alive when it was unsealed. "They told me it was going to be opened in 100 years or longer," James told the Mercury News. [San Jose Mercury News]

Student Time Capsule in England To Include iPad, Will Probably Be Stolen

A lot of people talk about the cool tech they'd like to include in time capsules, but usually due to concerns about price few actually do it. But one school in England is going to pony up and give people of tomorrow a peek at the computerized gadgets of our time. Voted on by students (and presumably paid for by the school), Dartmouth Academy will not only be including a computer, but an iPad in its message to the future. The local news reports that the capsule will "go into the ground" but doesn't specify any precautions that will be taken to ensure that it will stays there. You see, when a school full of rambunctious kids knows there's a box with valuable goods just waiting for them time capsules tend to go missing. The more clever time capsule thieves usually replace it with something inappropriate or ahistorical. [Herald Express]


Town That Hates Having Fun Nixes Time Capsule Plan

The Salisbury City Council in England voted unanimously this week to not go forward with a planned time capsule that was supposed to be buried in Salisbury's Market Place. While some derided the simple gesture as too expensive (£200 or about $310) the real reason is that the city council hates having fun and being associated with fun things. When asked for comment the very not fictional city councillor Rupert Hatesfunnington replied, "Publicly, we had to say it was a waste of money. But in reality every single one of us despises the idea of having fun. Like we really hate it. My surname is literally Hatesfunnington. Fun is the worst. Time capsules are just a bit of fun, but that is something we are whole-heartedly against. I really don't like fun." [Salisbury Journal]


Image: Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2011 from Getty Images

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