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A fife and drum corps is part of the Godspeed Sail event in Boston, Mass.
+ NASA Home > Life on Earth > In Everyday Life


Historic Tag Comes Home

Astronaut Patrick Forrester returned a piece of American history to Historic Jamestown on September 6, 2007.

A nearly 400-year-old lead cargo tag from the Jamestown settlement -- the only artifact with the name of the settlement on it recovered to date -- shared a ride on space shuttle Atlantis with Forrester during June's STS-117 mission.

Astronaut Pat Forrester (right) presents the Jamestown cargo tag to Va. Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra (far left) and AVPA Executive Director Elizabeth Kostelny (front, center)
Image above: Astronaut Pat Forrester (right, blue flight suit) presents the Jamestown cargo tag and a commemorative plaque to Virginia Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra (far left) and Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA) Executive Director Elizabeth Kostelny. Credit: NASA/Kathy Barnstorff

"We found the tag at the bottom of a well during a dig at the James Fort," said William M. Kelso, the APVA director of archaeology at Historic Jamestowne. "It appears to be a discarded shipping tag from a crate or trunk that arrived from England around 1611. The artifact clearly marks Jamestown as a destination -- our nation's first address."

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President Bush highlights America's Anniversary Weekend

On Sunday, May 13, President George W. Bush visited Jamestown to honor the courageous settlers who braved the Atlantic Ocean and the unknown to establish the first sustained English settlement in the New World.

President George W. Bush arrives at Jamestown 2007
Image above: President George W. Bush's visit highlighted the Jamestown 2007 celebration. Credit: NASA/Sean Smith
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+ NASA news release
+ White House news release

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin joined the President in recognizing the pioneering spirit that guided the Jamestown colonists 400 years ago and drives the nation's Vision for Space Exploration today.

+ Read Administrator's Remarks (PDF)

Three years ago President Bush unveiled the Vision, a comprehensive plan for space exploration that set NASA on a course to "gain a new foothold on the moon and to prepare for new journeys to the worlds beyond our own."

High overhead, three modern-day explorers -- the International Space Station Expedition 15 crew -- delivered a special message to the Jamestown crowd. Astronaut Sunita Williams, speaking on behalf of Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov, saluted the Jamestown settlers saying, "The same courage and conviction that brought Jamestown settlers to America in 1607 continues to drive today's explorers to establish the first human outpost on the Moon."

Expedition 15 crew via video at Jamestown 2007
Image above: The Expedition 15 crew (from left to right: Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov, Astronaut Sunita 'Suni' Williams and Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin) sends a special message to Jamestown 2007 from space. Credit: NASA
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America's Anniversary Weekend (May 11 - 13, 2007) at Jamestown, Va., was dedicated to celebrating the explorers who risked their lives to establish the first sustained English settlement in the New World in 1607.

NASA is partnering with Jamestown on a nearly-18-month series of events to promote this celebration of the spirit of exploration. In 2006 NASA hitched a ride with the Godspeed Sail -- a series of port calls to six U.S. east coast cities made by a replica of the Godspeed sailing ship. The original Godspeed was one of three ships that brought the first English settlers to the New World.

An interactive NASA exhibit called "Jamestown and NASA: Exploring the Past, Discovering the Future, Understanding the Journey" was featured during Anniversary Weekend. NASA personnel were on hand to to help visitors compare 17th-century exploration to our upcoming journeys to the moon, Mars and beyond.

+ Visit Jamestown 2007 site

 STS-117: Just do it -- Again
STS-117: Just Do It -- Again
When Atlantis heads for the International Space Station in June, its mission may sound a little familiar.
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 Jamestown artifact
Jamestown Artifact to Fly on Shuttle
A small piece of American history will journey into space aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis on the STS-117 mission.
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 The Godspeed sails into New York Harbor
East Coast Tour Leads Godspeed Back Home
NASA joined the Godspeed Sail this summer to highlight similarities between 17th century explorers and NASA's Vision for Space Exploration.
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 Photograph of baskets of food
'Exploration: Then and Now' educational module
This educational module compares exploration of the past and present; focusing on the settlement of Jamestown and NASA's plans to return to the moon and reach for Mars.
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 Space Shuttle food tray
Human Needs: Sustaining Life During Exploration
The need for food, water, air and shelter -- the basic human needs -- presented challenges to the Jamestown colonists and to NASA astronauts.
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 Artist's concept of James Fort construction
Settlement: Harsh Challenges Confront Colonists
What challenges did the English colonists face while trying to establish a permanent settlement?
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 Reconstructions of the Susan Constant, Discovery and Godspeed
Transportation: Small Vessels, Far Shores
Both the Jamestown colonists and NASA understand the challenges of navigating small vessels over vast distances.
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 SeaWiFS satellite image
Follow the Water: Finding a Perfect Match for Life
Water is essential to human survival, both for 17th-century colonists and 21st-century space explorers.
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 STS-117 insignia
June 8, 2007
7:38 p.m. EDT
June 22, 2007
3:49 p.m. EDT
Mission Number:
(118th shuttle flight)
Launch Window:
10 minutes
Launch Pad:
Mission Duration:
14 days
Landing Site:
Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles
Primary Payload:
21st station flight (13A), S3/S4 Truss

+ STS-117 Press Kit (PDF 5.9 Mb)
+ Mission Archives


 President George W. Bush and Laura Bush
Jamestown 2007
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 The Godspeed replica sails past the Statue of Liberty into New York Harbor
Godspeed Sail
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 President George W. Bush and Laura Bush
Anniversary Weekend
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 Expedition 15 addresses Jamestown 2007
Special Message From Space
The Expedition 15 crew speaks to Jamestown 2007.
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 NASA TV coverage of a space shuttle launch
Jamestown Artifact on STS-117
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 The Jamestown cargo tag in the lab
Jamestown Artifact
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 Va. Secr. of Technology Aneesh Chopra presents the Jamestown tag to NASA Langley Director Lesa Roe
Aerospace Day
Va. Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra presents the Jamestown artifact to NASA.
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 Artist's concept of astronaut leaving habitat to walk on the surface of Mars
Explorers must build new homes... or bring home with them.
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 Artist's concept of rendezvous and docking
Overcoming the challenge of traversing vast distances.
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 Artist's concept of a planetary surface vehicle
Finding water is crucial to settling new lands and worlds.
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 Artist's concept of astronaut planting the U.S. flag on Mars
All explorers face the challenge of survival.
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 Godspeed Sail dockside directions
Godspeed and Exploration
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 The Godspeed sets sail from Jamestown
Godspeed Sets Sail
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Last Updated: November 30, 2007
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