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Full Coverage: STS-114 Official Flight Kit

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Pilot Kelly discusses space souvenirs

August 2, 2005 -- Taking a short break from their on-orbit work, the crews of STS-114 and ISS Expedition 11 held an in-flight press conference this morning, answering the questions posed to them by Japanese, Russian and U.S. reporters. As part of the event, collectSPACE queried the joint crew about the personal items they carried to space.

View a Quicktime video of Jim "Vegas" Kelly's reply.

The following is a transcript of the question and answer:

Robert Pearlman with Steve, you said you have your trusty lunch box on board, and Eileen you mentioned bringing your daughter's school class picture. I wonder what other types of items you brought on board to make the station and shuttle more like your home or give it your touch?

Pilot Jim "Vegas" Kelly: I think each of us brought items along with us to make it a little more like home and also to bring stuff for other family members and things like that.

I brought a few special things along with me, things that remind me my kids at home and my wife, and also I have a very good friend from who I got a flag that he flew over Iraq just to remember the troops back down there on Earth that are protecting our freedoms around the globe. So, I like to do things like that so I brought a flag with me that came from the desert.

We brings things like that. I've got a cousin that I brought a firefighting badge along with that I will return to him and his fire department when we are done.

I think all of us brought stuff from high schools, colleges, friends and family just to help us while we go through this and also to remember folks back down on Earth that are working really hard. We have a lot of stuff for folks that worked on the shuttle to get us up here and get us ready to go. Carrying things for folks back in different areas back home that worked really hard, probably a lot harder than we have to be up here. I think each one of us has done something like that to remember the folks back on Earth.

Discovery's on-board souvenir stash

July 13, 2005 -- Seven hundred STS-114 crew patches.

Over 2000 state, country and agency flags.

Hundreds of decals, medallions, banners, and lapel pins.

These are just some of the more than 6,000 items that are on-board Space Shuttle Discovery for its 12-day Return To Flight mission to the International Space Station.

Referred to by NASA as the "Official Flight Kit," the stash is formally defined in the Federal Code as "a container, approximately 0.057 cubic meters (2 cubic feet) in size, reserved for carrying official mementos of NASA and other organizations aboard Space Shuttle flights."

In layman's terms, the Official Flight Kit (OFK) acts as the souvenir store for the ultimate trip away from home.

NASA, as well as its payload customers and international partners choose mementos to be flown in the OFK. The crew can also request items on behalf of the organizations that are near and dear to them.

Though the STS-114 OFK manifest, as sourced by NASA, does not specifically identify whom among the crew asked for particular items to fly, its not hard to deduce given their intended recipients.

For example, a gold medallion to be presented post-flight to the University of California, Davis Alumni Association is likely on behalf of Mission Specialist Stephen Robinson. He is a member of the UC Davis Class of '78.

Less obvious might be another of Robinson's choices: a t-shirt belonging to Gryphon Stringed Instruments of Palo Alto. Besides Gryphon's location -- Robinson is the only Californian on the crew -- he is also an avid guitar player (which is what earned Robinson his nickname Stevie-Ray).

From rock-and-roll to just rocks; two pebbles are also in the OFK. The 3 by 1 and 2 by 2 inch stones may have been difficult to connect to a crew member if they didn't both hail from Australia. Intervehicular crew "mate" Andy Thomas was born down under and holds dual citizenship.

The rocks, which are labeled simply with their size, are flying for Curtin and Macquarrie universities.

Like Thomas, Soichi Noguchi can be traced back to his choices by their relation to his home nation. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut has at least 10 items in the OFK that will travel home with him when he returns to Earth. Specifically among them are an acorn and a small bag of Japanese Cedar Tree seeds, carried for the local government of his birthplace.

Not all the OFK contents need be so unique. Mission Specialist Charles Camarda selected banners from each of his alma matters. Likewise, Commander Eileen Collins has a silver plaque and patch for the Air Force Academy and Test Center where she served.

Other OFK items are harder to assign to a specific crew member without more information. For example, a flag will be flown on behalf of The Mars Society, a non-profit that promotes exploration of the Red Planet. A jersey will be carried for the San Francisco Giants baseball team. And a polo shirt in on-board for Ron Jon's Surf Shop, the famous beachware store located on the Florida coast.

Besides the crew's items, NASA centers and contractors are accounting for the bulk of the OFK's contents, flying all those patches, pins, decals and flags. After STS-114 lands, NASA will distribute the items flown for others and present its own mementos as employee and VIP awards.

The OFK is not a new concept. Apollo astronauts carried similar packages to the Moon. Every Space Shuttle flight since 1981 has had one aboard. Discovery's most recent prior mission, STS-105 flew 15,000 mementos in its OFK. A single STS-107 patch, believed by some to come from its Kit, was found among Columbia's debris.

The STS-114 astronauts are not permitted to keep any of the items in their Official Flight Kit. Their own souvenirs, and those for their family and friends, are stowed in their Personal Preference Kits (PPKs), the contents of which are not released until a post-flight inventory is completed.

The STS-114 Official Flight Kit Manifest

The following is the STS-114 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.   600 STS-114 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. 100 Small Texas Flags
  2. 100 Small NASA Flags
  3. 5 NASA Lapel Pins
  4. 5 NASA Patches
  5. 2 Gold Space Station Lapel Pins
  6. 5 Texas Lapel Pins
  7. 5 U.S.~Japan Friendship Pins
  8. 5 U.S.~Italy Friendship Pins
  9. 4 Large JSC Medallions
  10. 20 Small JSC Medallions
  Agency Presentation
6.   Small Flags of the Following States:
  1. 20 New York
  2. 10 Iowa
  3. 10 Colorado
  4. 10 Virginia
  5. 10 California
  6. 10 Florida
  7. 10 Texas
  Agency Presentation
7.   Small Flags of the Following Countries and Province:
  1. 100 Japan
  2. 20 Italy
  3. 20 Australia
  4. 20 South Australia
  5. 10 Canada
  6. 10 British Columbia
  Agency Presentation
8.   Small Military Flags:
  1. 20 U.S. Air Force
  2. 10 U.S. Navy
  3. 10 U.S. Marine Corps
  4. 10 U.S. Army
  5. 10 U.S. Coast Guard
  Agency Presentation
  1. 10 Small United States Flags
  2. 10 Small Alabama State Flags
  Marshall Space Flight Center Presentation
  1. 2 Small United States Flags
  2. 10 Brass KSC Etchings
  Kennedy Space 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
12.   15 SR&QA Patches   Johnson Space Center Presentation
  1. 150 Silver Snoopy Pins
  2. 300 Small Discovery Flags
  3. 200 Small ISS Flags
  4. 100 Small U.S. Flags
  5. 2 Metal Ingots
  Space Flight Awareness Presentation
  1. 10 STS-114 Crew Patches
  2. 35 Small United States Flags
  3. 10 Payload Patches (MISSE-5)
  4. 10 DoD Space Test Program Patches
  5. 1 Florida Air National Guard Coin
  USAF/DoD Presentation
15.   25 CenterOps Embroidered Patches   Johnson Space Center Presentation
16.   50 EVA Embroidered Patches   Johnson Space Center Presentation
17.   Small Replica Wright Flyer   Agency Presentation
18.   25 Mission Operations Patches   Agency Presentation
  1. Baseball Jersey
  2. Ball Cap
  3. Baseball
  Agency Presentation
20.   "Challenge" Coin (Medallion)   Agency Presentation
22.   School Banner   Agency Presentation
23.   100 Small Wood Plank Pieces   Agency Presentation
Items 24 through 100 are manifested at the request of the STS-114 crewmembers.
24.   Class Patch   Air Force Ram Class of 2003, Brooks AFB, TX
25.   Museum Patch   National Soaring Museum, Elmira, NY
26.   Troop Medallion   Boy Scout Troop 28, Orlando, FL
27.   Society Flag   The Mars Society, Indian Hills, CA
28.   University Mouse Pad   South Miami Senior High, Miami, FL
29.   Patch   Order of the Arrow, BSA, Tipisa Lodge, FL
30.   Flag (3'x5')   Make A Wish Japan, Tokyo, Japan
31.   "Women in Aviation" Compact Disk   Aviation Archives, Santa Clara, CA
32.   Flag (3'x5')   Japan Association of Athletes, Tokyo, Japan
33.   Flag (3'x5")   Texas A&M University, Galveston, TX
34.   Laboratory Flag (5"x7")   Neutral Buoyancy Lab, Houston, TX
35.   Banner (3'x5')   Discovery School, Colorado Springs, CO
36.   Silver Plaque (4"x6")   Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO
37.   Silver STS-114 Medallion   University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
38.   Squadron Patch   Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards, CA
39.   Flag (3'x5')   Space Command, Peterson AFB, CO
40.   Shield (3'x5')   Phoenix Fire Department, Phoenix, AZ
41.   Squadron Patch   11 Fighter Squadron, Houston, TX
42.   Swim Cap   Clear Brook High School, Houston, TX
43.   Flag (3'x5')   Westbrook Intermediate, Houston, TX
44.   Small Bag of Japanese Cedar Tree Seeds   Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama, Japan
45.   Acorn   Yokohama City, Japan
46.   Digital Video Disk   Chigasaki City, Yokohama, Japan
47.   Flag (3'x5')   Chigasaki High School, Yokohama, Japan
48.   Compact Disk   Ikaruga Elementary School, Hyogo, Japan
49.   Flag (3'x5')   Scout Association of Japan, Tokyo, Japan
50.   Flag (3'x5')   Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Ind., Japan
51.   Flag (5'x7')   University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
52.   Flag (3'x5')   2005 World Expo, Aichi, Japan
53.   Manuscript Paper (12"x15")   Iwate Prefecture, Iwate, Japan
54.   Museum Lapel Pin   Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH
55.   Baseball Cap   New York City Police Dept., NYC, NY
56.   Gold Medallion   University of California Alumni, Davis, CA
57.   Air Force Test Squadron Sweatshirt   Canadian Air Force, Vancouver, Canada
58.   Sheriff's Badge   Sacramento Sheriff's Department, CA
59.   Pennant   Stanford University, Stanford, CA
60.   T-Shirt   Gryphon Stringed Instruments, Palo Alto, CA
61.   Flag Lapel Pin   Japanese Space Agency, Tokyo, Japan
62.   T-38 Patch   Aircraft Ops, JSC, Houston, TX
63.   Flag (3'x5')   Experimental Aircraft Assoc., Oshkosh, WI
64.   Rock (3"x1")   Curtin University, Western Australia
65.   Star Chart   Scitech, West Australia
66.   Banner   Institute of Engineers, Australia
67.   Rock (2"x2"x4")   ACA, Macquarrie University, Australia
68.   Flag (2'x4')   RAAF Edinburgh AFB, Adelaide, South Australia
69.   Badge   South Australia Police Dept., South Australia
70.   Flag   Tandanya Aboriginal Center, South Australia
71.   Badge   Adelaide City Council, South Australia
72.   South Australia Map   Office of Premier, South Australia
73.   Cloth Wings   Australian Government, Canberra, Australia
74.   Command Flag (3'x5')   Naval Network and Space Ops, Dahlgren, VA
75.   Air Force ROTC Detachment 157 Patch   Embry Riddle Aeronautics Univ., Daytona Beach, FL
76.   Medallion   Office of Space Launch, NRO, Chantilly, VA
77.   Medal   Lane County ESD, Eugene, OR
78.   Hovercraft Patch   Crow High School, Eugene, OR
79.   Patch   NAS Whiting Field, Milton, FL
80.   Patch   NAS Whiting Field Starbase Atlantis, Milton, FL
81.   Unit Patch   Strategic Communications, Tinkler AFB, OK
82.   Patch   Air Force Space Command, Patrick AFB, FL
83.   Banner   Virginia Polytechnic Inst., Blacksburg, VA
84.   Banner   Polytechnic Inst. of New York, Troy, NY
85.   Banner   George Washington Univ., Washington, DC
86.   Banner   Archbishop Molloy High School, Queens, NY
87.   Banner   California Inst. of Technology, Pasadena, CA
88.   Banner   C-CAT, Houston, TX
89.   Jersey   San Francisco Giants, San Francisco, CA
90.   Polo Shirt   Ron Jon Surf Shop, Cocoa Beach, FL
91.   Banner   Southern Research Inst., Birmingham, AL
92.   Banner   Georgia Tech University, Atlanta, GA
93.   Gold Astronaut Pin   Agency Presentation
94.   Gold Astronaut Pin   Agency Presentation
95.   Gold Astronaut Pin   Agency Presentation
96.   Silver Air Force Wings   Agency Presentation
97.   Silver Air Force Wings   Agency Presentation
98.   Gold Astronaut Pin   Agency Presentation
Items 101 through 110 are manifested at the request of the STS-114 payload customers.
  1. 100 LF1 Patches
  2. 100 LF1 Pins
  3. 100 ISS Lapel Pins
  LF1 Payload Customer Presentation
102.   100 LMC Decals   Lightweight MPESS Carrier Presentation
  1. 250 HRF Decals
  2. 9 STP Patches
  3. 13 MISSE 5 Patches
  4. 25 MISSE 5 Decals
  5. 50 Coldbag/Icepac Lapel Pins
  6. 100 ISS Research Patches
  JSC/OZ Presentation
104.   100 LF1 Pins   LF1 Boeing Presentation
  1. 100 STS-114 Patches
  2. 100 Bookmarks
  Spacehab Presentation
106.   150 MPLM Decals   Marshall Space Flight Center Presentation
  1. 100 JAXA STS-114 Patches
  2. 100 JAXA STS-114 Pins
  3. 100 Small Flags of Japan
  4. 100 Small Kibo Flags
  5. 100 Small JAXA Flags
  Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Presentation
  1. 1 Banner of Italy
  2. 1 Banner of Italy with Photograph
  3. 1 School Banner
  4. 75 ASI Alenia Flags
  5. 39 MPLM ASI Pins
  6. 4 MPLM Patches
  7. 10 MPLM Decals
  Italian Space Agency Presentation
109.   300 DTO 848 Decals   Space Shuttle Program Office Presentation
110.   300 Sheets of SSP Bookmarks   Space Shuttle Program Office Presentation

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