› Listen Now
Shuttle Souvenirs Reflect Hubble's Impact
From NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, I’m Anita Barrett, and this is what’s going up on STS-125.
The crew members of space shuttle Atlantis will spend seven of their 11 days in space placing new instruments and equipment inside the Hubble Space Telescope. The work will allow the orbiting observatory to continue its groundbreaking work for several more years.
With that in mind, crew members and NASA officials have packed a number of astronomy-related items into the flight kit Atlantis will carry into orbit. Each mission is routinely packed with a few mementos that NASA and the astronauts use to mark agency and individual milestones.
A small model of Hubble will spend a few days with the real thing before returning to Earth and finding a home at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
A collapsible pocket telescope built to look out into the wonder of space just like Hubble also will make the trip. Once back on Earth, the pocket telescope will go to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago to inspire future astronomers.
The astronauts will take with them a 1 1/2-inch telescope lens, far smaller than the seven-foot, 10-inch one on Hubble, but perhaps as meaningful to some who may see it at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
A small basketball that astronomer Edwin Hubble played with while on the University of Chicago basketball team will be flown in space.
The small items symbolize the space telescope’s unique touch on human history and understanding.
For NASA, I’m Anita Barrett.
› Listen Now