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Sonja Alexander
Headquarters, Washington

May 23, 2007
RELEASE : 07-120
NASA, AOL and Mad Science Choose Pennant Design Challenge Winner
WASHINGTON - On Tuesday, NASA, AOL's kids service, KOL, and Mad Science announced that Tapasya Das of Mount Laurel, N.J., is the winner of the NASA Space Pennant Design Challenge. The winning pennant, titled "Education 4 Exploration," will fly on space shuttle Endeavour's STS-118 mission, targeted to launch this August. The grand prize also includes the opportunity for the winner to view the launch.

The competition received thousands of entries showcasing students' vision for space. The entries required students to research, apply what they learned, and write an explanation of their design and how their pennant incorporates their knowledge about the STS-118 shuttle flight or America's long-term exploration strategy, known as the Vision for Space Exploration. The Vision for Space Exploration is the program that will see humans return to the moon and then travel to Mars and beyond.

Space shuttle Endeavour's STS-118 mission will mark the first flight for Mission Specialist Barbara Morgan, an educator who is fully trained as an astronaut. This mission is an important step in the ongoing assembly of the International Space Station.

Through the NASA Space Pennant Design Challenge, NASA continues its tradition of investing in the nation's education programs. To compete effectively for the minds, imaginations and career ambitions of America's young people, NASA is focused on engaging and retaining students in education efforts that encourage their pursuit of disciplines critical to NASA's future engineering, scientific and technical missions.

For more information on the winning pennant and essay and a list of the finalist, visit:

For more information about NASA's STS-118 mission, visit:

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