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Shuttle carries history and future to station
Colonial tag and sci-fi series among astronauts' payload

The future meets the past aboard the space shuttle Atlantis in the form of the astronauts' mission mementos. (NASA/FOX)
June 12, 2007 — What do a colonial shipping tag, a sci-fi series on DVD, a couple of referee's whistles and a board game's playing pieces have in common? They are all part of the cargo aboard space shuttle Atlantis, now docked at the International Space Station.

Launched on June 8 along with the heaviest payload that is destined for the ISS, the 17.5 ton S3/S4 truss segment now installed on the right side of the station, Atlantis and the STS-117 crew also have with them about 1000 pounds of equipment and supplies, including small mementos and personal items for themselves, their families, the crew on the space station and for organizations that have exhibited support for them and for NASA.

The items, stowed in either their personal preference kits (PPKs) or in the STS-117 Official Flight Kit (OFK) are for the most part to make the round trip with Atlantis and will be presented to their owners post-flight. Some however, will be transferred onto the ISS along with 117's seventh crewmember Clay Anderson, who serves as flight engineer for the station's fifteenth expedition. Anderson is replacing Suni Williams, who is scheduled to return with Atlantis on June 21, having set the women's world record for longest mission duration of more than 188 days, previously set by Shannon Lucid in 1996.

Anderson's stay won't be quite as long, he's scheduled to come back to Earth with the STS-120 crew in October but until then, he's packed a few items to remind him of home.

"I will have photos of my kids and wife, there will be some Nebraska [University] and Iowa State and some Hastings College paraphernalia floating around, which are the places that are near and dear to my heart," Anderson said during a pre-flight interview with collectSPACE.

"I have some baseball caps and a referee shirt or two. I was a big college basketball referee — I say 'big', I was big into it," said Anderson, who also packed for his trip a couple of NBA-regulation referee whistles.

Fox 40, which produces the whistles, was reported to have given Anderson four mini-whistles to fly. At least one of those, per the OFK manifest (below) will be returned to the company when Anderson is back on the ground.

STS-117 mission specialist Steve Swanson also brought something for Anderson and his ISS crewmates to enjoy during their off-hours. As reported by the fan created site, "Browncoat Astronaut" Swanson has with him a complete library of DVDs containing the Joss Whedon television series Firefly and its theatrical spinoff Serenity. The discs will be added to the station's growing collection of movies and multimedia.

As for items for himself, Swanson has not brought much. "Besides taking my wedding ring and picture of the family-type stuff, that is probably it that I am taking up for me," Swanson told collectSPACE.

Patrick Forrester, who with Swanson will make the flight's second and newly-added fourth spacewalks, has items for each of his sons and wife, as well as "some things for the military units that I have been involved with and some of the church organizations that I have been affiliated with," he said.

Forrester is also credited with creating an item that each of his crewmates has with them, and for which more than 650 are stowed on-board.

"[Our patch] was done by Pat Forrester," said STS-117 commander Rick "CJ" Sturckow during an interview with collectSPACE. The insignia, which went through several revisions as astronauts were added and removed from the crew, shows the ISS above the Earth with the components to be added by STS-117 colored in gold.

"He sketched that out right after we were assigned, before we even moved into an office together. He brought it over and showed it to me and said, 'Hey, what do you think of this?' and I go, 'Boy, that looks good to me!' and he's like, 'Would you recommend any changes to it?' and I was like, 'Nope, that looks really good," and he showed it to the rest of the crew. We got that patch done in record time and I figure he got a lot of compliments on it. Pat did a good job with that," said Sturckow.

Pilot Lee "BRU" Archambault, whose seat is to the right of Sturckow's on Atlantis' flight deck, chose "small items for my kids and some relatives, and I am also bringing some banners for the hometown I grew up in and the high school I went to, a college banner from the University of Illinois, as well as a couple of Air Force organizations," he said in a pre-flight interview.

Like Archambault, James "JR" Reilly also selected to fly a banner with symbolic ties to his past.

"I have a flag from the country of Ireland, which is where my grandparents on my dad's side came from, that was given to me prior to [my last flight on] STS-104, so it flew on that flight and it will fly on this flight as well," described Reilly. "I hope to take that back to the little village that is down in southwestern Ireland where my family came from.

"We of course have other items that we carry. I am taking up a banner for the Scottish Space School. Their charter is to foster studies in math, science and engineering with students there in Scotland and I've worked with those guys for a couple of years now and really like what they do so we're carrying a pennant up for them and bringing that back," he told collectSPACE.

Reilly's spacewalking partner Danny Olivas also has flags aboard for "universities that I have attended, schools that I have attended," but it was his choice of mementos for his five children that he hopes gains a special importance by having been flown in space.

"I have a St. Christopher's medallion that I have had with me for years, I got it as an infant. And I am going to take up a handful of St. Christopher medals for my kids, each one different and hopefully when I come back it will have an extra special meaning for them," Olivas revealed during an interview with collectSPACE.

Though not directly connected to any of the crewmembers another medal on-board Atlantis has special meaning as a result of its history to the nation from where they all hail.

A nearly 400-year-old metal cargo tag bearing the words "Yames Towne" and some commemorative medallions are packed with the OFK inside Atlantis' middeck floor space for the roundtrip flight to the International Space Station. Their flight is in honor of this year's 400th anniversary of Jamestown, Va., the first permanent English settlement in North America.

Stowed nearby are metal tokens of a different type, which also celebrate American history in the form of one of its popular pastimes. Hasbro, Inc., makers of the board game Monopoly, announced last week that playing pieces from the "Here & Now" Edition are along for the flight. Two sets of miniature icons, including a Toyota Prius, New Balance Shoe, Labradoodle, Motorola cell phone, and McDonald's French Fries, are on Atlantis. The "Here & Now" edition of Monopoly includes a property square for NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

The STS-117 Official Flight Kit Manifest

The following is the STS-117 Official Flight Kit manifest, as provided by NASA. Inventory numbers that are missing indicate items that were removed prior to launch.

No.   Description   Sponsor/Purpose
1.   625 STS-117 Crew Patches   Agency Presentation
2.   600 Small United States Flags   Agency Presentation
3.   3 Sets U.S. States & Territories Flags   Agency Presentation
4.   3 Sets United Nations Members Flags   Agency Presentation
  1. 20 Small Texas Flags
  2. 1 Large Pewter NASA Medallion
  3. 1 Large Bronze NASA Medallion
  Agency Presentation
6.   Small Flags of the Following States:
  1. 10 California
  2. 30 Texas
  3. 10 Illinois
  4. 5 Virginia
  5. 5 South Carolina
  6. 5 Colorado
  7. 5 Idaho
  8. 5 New Mexico
  9. 30 Georgia
  Agency Presentation
7.   10 Each Small Military Flags:
  1. U.S. Air Force
  2. U.S. Army
  3. U.S. Coast Guard
  4. U.S. Marine Corps
  5. U.S. Navy
  Agency Presentation
  1. 10 Small United States Flags
  2. 10 Small Alabama State Flags
  Marshall Space Flight Center Presentation
  1. 10 Small Louisiana State Flags
  2. 10 Small Mississippi State Flags
  3. 5 Small NASA Flags
  4. 5 Small United States Flags
  Stennis Space Center Presentation
  1. 250 Silver Snoopy Pins
  2. 50 Small ISS Flags
  Space Flight Awareness Presentation
12.   25 EVA Patches   Agency Presentation
13.   25 Center Operations Patches   Agency Presentation
  1. 10 STS-117 Crew Patches
  2. 30 Small U.S. Flags
  3. 10 DoD Space Test Program Patches
  4. 6 Under Secretary of the Air Force Coins
  5. 1 USAF Master Space Operations Badge
  6. 1 321st Special Tactics Squadron Unit Coin
  7. 2 USAF 0-6 Insignia (Eagles)
  DoD Presentation
15.   15 STS-117 Crew Patches   United Space Alliance Presentation
  1. 2 Gold Pieces
  2. 2 Silver Pieces
  3. Lead Tag
  4. Small (12"x12" Banner
  Agency Presentation
17.   1 Lapel Pin   Agency Presentation
18.   38 Small Metal Tokens (Silver/Pewter Color)   Agency Presentation
Items 19 through 69 are manifested at the request of the STS-117 crewmembers.
19.   Green, White and Silver School Flag (57"x34")   Town Center Elementary School, Coppell, TX
20.   Red Marine Corp Flag (59"x38")   Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX
21.   White and Green Flag (58"x36")   University of Texas - El Paso, El Paso, TX
22.   Red and White School Flag (60"x34")   Proviso West High School, Hillside, IL
23.   Blue and White Flag (60"x36")   City of Bellwood, Bellwood, IL
24.   Blue and Orange Flag (58"x34")   University of Illinois, Aerospace Engineering Dept., Urbana, IL
25.   U.S. Flag (61"x34")   U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, Fort Sam Houston, TX
26.   Tattered U.S. Flag (59"x35")   The Royal American Legion Post 996, Royal, IL
27.   U.S. Flag (3'x5')   Air Force Memorial, Arlington, VA
28.   U.S. Flag (3'x5')   Air Force Association, Arlington, VA
29.   Green and Black Flag (3"x10")   First Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, Fort Bragg, NC
30.   1979 Gold Class Ring with Green Stone   United States Military Academy Library, West Point, NY
31.   Orange and Black Patch   First Calvary Association, Fort Hood, TX
32.   Portland Police Officer's Badge   Portland Police Department, Portland, OR
33.   Drum Stick   Steven Curtis Chapman Band, Nashville, TX
34.   Drum Stick   Trademark Band, Houston, TX
35.   Longhorn Emblem   University of Texas Parents' Association, Austin, TX
36.   White Plastic "ONE" Bracelet   World Vision, Federal Way, WA
37.   Orange and White Flag (62"x35")   Clemson University, Clemson, SC
38.   Blue and Orange Flag (51"x36")   U.S. Army Aviation Warfighting Center, Fort Rucker, AL
39.   Blue and White Flag (3'x5')   Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
40.   White and Green Pennant (59"x36")   Eagle Elementary School, Eagle, ID
41.   Black and Gold Flag (59"x36")   University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
42.   Red Sash   Steamboat Springs High School, CO
43.   Blue and White Vinyl Banner (60"x35")   Bales Intermediate School, Friendswood, TX
44.   U.S. Flags (36"x61")   City of Steamboat Springs, CO
45.   Purple and White High School Flag (42"x26")   Burges High School, El Paso, TX
46.   Red and White School Flag (41"x26")   MacArthur School, El Paso, TX
47.   White and Blue Flag (36"x25")   Bonham Colts, El Paso, TX
48.   Blue and White Flag (39"x28")   Rice University, Houston, TX
49.   Two-Sided Orange Flag (39"x23")   University of Texas - El Paso, El Paso, TX
50.   Red and White Flag (32"x21")   University of Houston, Houston, TX
51.   Blue Vinyl Banner (30"x18")   City of El Paso, El Paso, TX
52.   White and Black School Banner (48"x24")   Sidney Lanier Middle School, Houston, TX
53.   White and Blue Banner (4'x2')   Yes Prep Public School, Houston, TX
54.   Multicolored Striped Blanket (40"x19")   St. Pius X School, El Paso, TX
55.   Gold Medallion   USS Minneapolis-St. Paul, Norfolk, VA
56.   Irish Flag (36"x75")   City of Schull, Ireland
57.   Gold Medallion   USS Leyte Gulf, Norfolk, VA
58.   Brown Tam-o'-shanter Hat   Black Watch Regiment, Glasgow, Scotland
59.   Black Banner with Patches (20"x31")   Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Burlington, GA
60.   White, Orange and Green Banner (3'x5')   University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX
61.   FBI Dallas Medallion   Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, DC
62.   Blue Patch   USN Empire Challenge, China Lake NWS, CA
63.   U.S. Flag (34"x60")   Agency Presentation
64.   Scottish Space School Pennant (6"x8")   Scottish Space School, Houston, TX
65.   Silver Air Force Wings   Agency Presentation
66.   Silver Army Aviator Wings   Agency Presentation
67.   Gold Astronaut Pin   Agency Presentation
68.   Gold Astronaut Pin   Agency Presentation
69.   Gold Astronaut Pin   Agency Presentation
Items 70 through 72 are manifested at the request of the STS-117 payload customers.
  1. 50 HRF Decals
  2. 50 HRF Lapel Pins
  3. 50 ISS Research Patches
  ISS Utilization Payload Presentation
  1. 50 ISS MKC Patches
  2. 50 ISS MKC Lapel Pins
  ISS Launch Package Presentation
  1. 300 Sheets of Bookmarks
  2. 75 SSP Patches
  Space Shuttle Program Presentation
73.   1 Small Memory Card   Agency Presentation
STS-117 OFK Addendum: Expedition 15 Crewmember Clayton Anderson (Up on STS-117 — Over to ISS — Down TBD)

Expedition 15 — ISS Official Flight Kit (OFK)
1.   Bronze Ashland-Greenwood Bluejay's Medallion   Ashland-Greenwood Sr. High School, Ashland, NE
2.   Bronze Ashland-Greenwood Bluejay's Medallion   Ashland-Greenwood Jr. High School, Ashland, NE
3.   Bronze Ashland-Greenwood Bluejay's Medallion   Ashland-Greenwood Elementary School, Ashland, NE
4.   Bronze Ashland-Greenwood Bluejay's Medallion   Ashland-Greenwood Country School, Ashland, NE
5.   ASCR Patch   Astronaut Strength, Conditional and Rehabilitation Group, Houston, TX
6.   Black FOX40 Mini Whistle   Foxcroft Corporation, Niagra Falls, NY
7.   Black FOX40 Mini Whistle   Texas Association of Sports Officials, Austin, TX
8.   Millana Russian CD   Cosmos Recording Studio, Moscow, Russia
9.   Set of Earth and Moon Marbles   Strategic Air and Space Museum, Ashland, NE
10.   Yuri Gagarin Pin   Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Moscow, Russia

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