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  Soccer ball aboard 51L flown to space station

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Author Topic:   Soccer ball aboard 51L flown to space station
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 38319
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-03-2017 01:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Soccer ball recovered from ill-fated shuttle Challenger flown to space station

A soccer ball that was on the ill-fated launch of the space shuttle Challenger has made it to orbit 30 years later, thanks to a shared connection between one of the fallen astronauts and the current commander on the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, the commander of the station's Expedition 50 crew, posted to Twitter Friday (Feb. 3) a photo of the black and white ball floating in front of the windows in the orbiting laboratory's Cupola. His post came less than a week after the anniversary of the Jan. 28, 1986 Challenger tragedy.

"This ball was on Challenger that fateful day," Kimbrough wrote. "Flown by Ellison Onizuka for his daughter, a soccer player."

lspooz
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Posts: 331
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2012

posted 02-03-2017 07:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lspooz   Click Here to Email lspooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Poignant beauty.

randy
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Posts: 1900
From: West Jordan, Utah USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 02-03-2017 09:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Beautiful. Well done.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38319
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-07-2017 10:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ABC News video
Astronaut Shane Kimbrough takes the intact soccer ball into space almost 30 years after it was retrieved from the explosion.

MarylandSpace
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Posts: 1263
From:
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 02-07-2017 11:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a great tribute to Ellison Onizuka.

SpaceCadet1983
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Posts: 119
From: United States
Registered: May 2012

posted 02-07-2017 11:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceCadet1983   Click Here to Email SpaceCadet1983     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know if the soccer ball will be presented to Ellison Onizuka's daughter? It seems only fitting as that was his original intent.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38319
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-30-2017 11:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Clear Creek Independent School District release
A Special Piece of Space History Returns Home

Mission Accomplished Halftime Ceremony
Friday, November 3, 2017
CCISD Challenger Columbia Stadium
2145 NASA Blvd, Webster, 77598
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m.
Halftime: Approximately 8:00 p.m.

Football fans and space fans are invited to come out to the November 3 Clear Lake High School vs. Clear Creek High School football game at CCISD Challenger Columbia Stadium to help welcome home a soccer ball that was recovered from the debris of the Space Shuttle Challenger 51-L accident in 1986.

But the soccer ball's journey didn't end there.

The soccer ball, whose home has been Clear Lake High School since its recovery after the 1986 accident, completed its voyage to space in April of this year on the International Space Station as a personal effect of Expedition 50 Commander Colonel Shane Kimbrough.

Challenger Astronaut Colonel Ellison Onizuka had originally intended to take the ball on his journey into space on the ill-fated flight. His daughter, Janelle Onizuka, was a soccer player on the Clear Lake High School soccer team in 1986. The ball bears her signature and those of her teammates. Onizuka has four children, one of whom currently attends Clear Lake High School.

"The soccer ball has continued its mission my father embarked on so many years ago, inspiring so many through its history," said Onizuka.

When Colonel Kimbrough learned of the soccer ball's existence and incomplete journey, he offered to take the ball with him on his mission. Col. Kimbrough currently has a son at Clear Lake High School

Those who attend the halftime ceremony will learn of other special interconnections to this story, including that the sister of Clear Lake High School's current boys' soccer coach, Jered Shriver, was on the soccer team in 1986 - and her signature is on the ball. Shriver's father, Colonel Loren Shriver, was an astronaut and close friend of Colonel Onizuka and the two flew together on Space Shuttle mission 51-C in 1985. Colonel Shriver was assigned as the family liaison after the Challenger accident.

During the halftime ceremony, Colonel Kimbrough will be presenting the soccer ball back to Lorna Onizuka, the widow of Col. Onizuka, his daughter Janelle, and other members of the Onizuka family. Several members of the 1986 soccer team will also be a part of the special reunion.

The Falcon football players' helmets will bear a special space-themed decal in honor of the Challenger crew and the soccer ball's historic return home. The halftime program also includes a performance by the Clear Lake High School marching band, entitled Space Odyssey.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 3269
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 10-30-2017 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm curious: The signatures are still legible despite being soaked in water for a period of time? No water got into the bag which presumably the ball was kept?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38319
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-30-2017 01:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Photos show that the signatures are now faint and there is water damage to the surface of the ball.

Wehaveliftoff
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Posts: 2041
From:
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 11-01-2017 11:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wehaveliftoff   Click Here to Email Wehaveliftoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astonishing it made it through that tragedy.

Philip
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Posts: 5635
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 11-04-2017 05:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An amazing story indeed...

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38319
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-20-2017 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ABC News video
A soccer ball found in the debris was taken into space by another astronaut, where it stayed for 30 years before being brought back and returned to the Onizuka family.

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