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May 19, 2011

Rebecca Strecker, NASA News Chief
NASA Public Affairs Office
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000
(228) 688-3249

Hancock County Students Provide Winning Name for Stennis Astronaut Mascot

The inflatable astronaut mascot at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center finally has a name – thanks to students in teacher Sarah Ladner's third-grade class at South Hancock Elementary School in Bay St. Louis. The students submitted the winning name, Orbie.

The name was selected as part of a contest earlier this spring that involved students in some 20 schools in Louisiana and Mississippi. Students were asked to submit name possibilities as part of the yearlong 50th anniversary celebration at Stennis.

Stennis Director Patrick Scheuermann visited South Hancock Elementary School on May 19 to announce the name, to thank the students for their winning submission and to present a large, full-color photo of Orbie to Ladner and her class.

Ladner said her class members wanted to propose a name that pertained to space, as well as appealed to students of all ages.

The nearly nine-foot-tall Orbie can often be seen at various Stennis functions and outreach events. Stay connected with Orbie on Facebook (Orbie the Astronaut page) and Twitter (@OrbieAstronaut).

For information about Stennis Space Center, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis/.

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