What's Going Up?

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What's Going Up?
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NARRATOR: A trio of green flags will set speed marks of their own during mission STS-122 when space shuttle Atlantis carries three green starter's flags into orbit.

The flags are from NASCAR's premiere race, the Daytona 500. Like NASA, the Daytona race is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2008.

After they return from the mission, the flags will be waved during the 2008 Daytona 500 to begin the race.

Atlantis will also carry a few dried roses during STS-122 that will be used as part of a float in the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, California.

The float will celebrate NASA's 50 years of work and the numerous milestones the space agency achieved.

Space shuttles routinely carry a number of items to commemorate historical milestones, as well as mark the mission itself.

Most of the items, including things ranging from pins to flags to patches, are distributed to people and institutions.

The green flags will be given to the Daytona 500 race winner, the track owners and one will remain with NASA.

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