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Fun Ohio Facts
Browns Flag Flies on Shuttle

Donald Thomas portrait NASA astronaut Donald A. Thomas, Ph.D., a native of Cleveland, Ohio, poses with a Cleveland Browns football helmet and Browns patches in his launch and entry space suit. Thomas carried a Cleveland Browns flag onboard the space shuttle Columbia during the STS-83 Microgravity Science Lab-1 (MSL-1) mission launched on April 4, 1997. The items are now on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Fellow Ohioan Mike Gernhardt, from Mansfield, Ohio, joined Thomas on this mission, which carried 11 experiments from NASA Glenn.

Clevelander Sets Space Endurance Record

Ohio astronaut and Cleveland native Carl Walz spent six months in his home away from home: the International Space Station (ISS). Walz was a part of the Expedition 4 crew that traveled to the ISS aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour when it lifted off on December 5, 2001 to begin the STS-108 mission. He returned to Earth on June 5, 2002. During their stay aboard the ISS, Walz and crewmate Dan Bursch broke the U.S. record for the longest single U.S. spaceflight. Walz also held the U.S. record for most cumulative time in space with 231 days until that record was broken in December 2003 by NASA astronaut Michael Foale.

The All-Ohio Shuttle Crew

In 1995, Ohio, residents followed the STS-70 mission with close attention and pride. Four of the shuttle's crewmembers -- Nancy Currie, Tom Henricks, Don Thomas, and Mary Ellen Weber -- were from Ohio. Then Governor George Voinovich attended the launch and made the fifth crew member, Kevin Kregel, an honorary Ohio citizen. During the flight, the mission control center played the Cleveland Indians baseball song as a wake-up call for the crew.

The Air Force Institute of Technology Astronauts

The following astronauts attended the Air Force Institute of Technology (at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio): William Anders, Guion S. Bluford, Jr, Mark N. Brown, Gordon Cooper, Donn F. Eisele, John Fabian, Kevin Ford, Michael Fossum, James Halsell, Steven Lindsey, Michael Mullane, and Donald Peterson.