› Listen Now
Models, Aircraft Piece Showcase Astronauts' Interests, Milestones
Models, replicas, flags and patches packed carefully inside Discovery’s lockers exhibit a diverse reflection of the seven astronauts who fly the shuttle on the STS-128 mission.
The items represent the different paths the astronauts took before the launch of the mission to the International Space Station.
For example, a small model shuttle is making the trip on the real thing courtesy of the Montpelier Elementary School in Indiana, the hometown of Pilot Kevin Ford. Ford’s representation also includes a gold medallion from his Blackford High School graduating class of 1978 in Hartford City, Indiana.
Veteran astronaut Patrick Forrester has included a piece of a missionary pilot’s aircraft from the Mission Aviation Fellowship in Nampa, Idaho. Forrester told the organization that he could see performing missionary work after his astronaut career.
First-time flier Jose Hernandez is carrying a host of mementos from his hometown of Stockton, California. There is a city lapel pin and a ribbon from the Stockton-based League of United Latin American Citizens.
Swedish astronaut Christer Fuglesang’s allotment includes a silver carved spoon, a Nobel Peace Prize replica and a miniature orange life jacket from Sweden.
Astronauts routinely carry commemoratives into space as a way to mark their own accomplishments and to symbolically carry the community with them into orbit.
Many of the items find their way into local museums, city halls and other presentation areas where they can inspire others.
From the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, I’m George Diller.
For NASA, I’m George Diller.
› Listen Now