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Space shuttle Endeavour's final Flight Kit: merit badges, mission patches and more


Some of the space shuttle program's "end of mission" patches that were packed in shuttle Endeavour's final Official Flight Kit.
May 31, 2011 — After more than 15 days in orbit, space shuttle Endeavour is headed home to Earth for its final time. The youngest of NASA's winged orbiters, Endeavour is returning with an empty cargo bay — its payload, the final U.S. components for the International Space Station delivered and installed.

Packed inside its crew cabin, sharing space with its six astronauts, is Endeavour's final delivery: several thousand pounds of science experiment results and spent supplies from the station. Also onboard, having made the round trip with the shuttle, is a special stash of souvenirs — the mission's Official Flight Kit (OFK), packed with mementos for the many organizations that supported the astronauts and made the flight a success.

The duffle-bag sized flight kit, together with the astronauts' individual personal preference kits, continues a tradition of astronauts flying mementos dating back through all of the 134 shuttle missions to date and the earlier U.S. manned space flights. Hundreds of thousands of small U.S. flags, crew patches, medallions, and lapel pins have flown over the course of the past five decades.


Endeavour's empty cargo bay (with the station's Dextre robot in the foreground) as seen before undocking from the ISS. (NASA)
Endeavour's STS-134 flight kit is no exception, with nearly 500 of the crew's embroidered patches — as designed by commander Mark Kelly's mother-in-law, Congresswoman Gabrille Giffords' (D-Ariz.) mother, Gloria — alongside more than 5,000 4-inch by 6-inch U.S. flags and more than 2,000 of Endeavour's own orbiter flags.

Endeavour's 25th and final mission is also the next-to-last for the space shuttle program, which is represented in the OFK by 2,700 "end-of-mission" lapel pins and hundreds of similarly designed bookmarks, decals and emblems to be distributed after the flight to shuttle program workers.

Not everything in the flight kit however, is packed in mass. Many are individual mementos flown at the request of the crew members for organizations that they support and that supported them.

For example, a two-inch gold bar from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy made the trip on behalf of Kelly, who graduated from the academy in 1986.

A poem from the Tucson Poetry Center in Arizona is also on board, along with an Archie Comics comic book cover.

Another cartoon character, a Czech mole named Krtek, is aboard Endeavour in the form of a stuffed toy.

"My wife's mother is Czech and so we have strong ties to the Czech Republic," mission specialist Drew Feustel told collectSPACE. "They're actually building a whole science and education outreach program around this character and we hope to be able to go back to visit the country and tour around with Krtek and try to get the schools involved and see a lot of the students and excite them about math and science and technology."

Mementos ranging from a metal disk borrowed from the National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Rome to a pennant from Tuscany are in the OFK representing Italy, the home nation of European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut and STS-134 mission specialist Roberto Vittori.

The Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth, England, loaned a 3-inch wooden ball from the 16th century ship "Mary Rose" so it could sail in the vast ocean of space. The "Mary Rose" was one of the first purpose-built warships and was raised in 1982 after more than 400 years underwater. The ball, called a "parrel," was part of the mechanism used to raise sails up the masts.

The "Mary Rose" has an additional connection to NASA: astronaut Michael Foale worked as a volunteer diver on the ship's excavation in 1981.

Another museum-sponsored piece is the five-star insignia worn by General Henry "Hap" Arnold, an architect of the modern Air Force. The insignia belongs to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.

Endeavour's pilot Greg H. Johnson and mission specialist Mike Fincke are Air Force officers.

More than 100 robotics merit badges are inside the flight kit for the Boy Scouts of America. The newly introduced badge was developed in cooperation with NASA but also shares a connection with STS-134 mission specialist Greg Chamitoff, who was an Eagle Scout.

Chamitoff also flew a patch designed by the Boy Scouts' Santa Clara County Council in California, where he was a scout.

"When this flight came up, they got very excited about making a space patch for the council and so they did, and I'm flying it for them," Chamitoff told collectSPACE.

Robotics in space is also manifested by a hand and arm flying on Endeavour. Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space, was delivered to the station during the previous shuttle mission and its extra appendage was packed on Endeavour to salute the work done on Earth to deploy the robot in space.

The STS-134 Official Flight Kit Manifest

The following is the STS-134 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.  
  1. 425 STS-134 crew patches
  2. 75 Expedition 27 patches
  3. 75 Expedition 28 patches
  4. 75 Expedition 29 patches
  Agency Presentation
2.   800 Small United States Flags   Agency Presentation
3.   5 Sets U.S. States & Territories Flags   Agency Presentation
4.   5 Sets United Nations Members Flags   Agency Presentation
5.  
  1. 50 Small Texas Flags
  2. 50 Small Flags of Italy
  3. 20 Small Flags of Russia
  4. 25 Small NASA Flags
  5. 25 NASA Patches
  6. 1 Large (3") JSC Medallion
  7. 6 Small (2") JSC Medallions
  8. 2 NASA Seal Medallions (1 Bronze, 1 Silver)
  9. 8 Silver Shuttle Pendant
  Agency Presentation
6.   10 Small (4"x6") State Flags:
  1. Arizona
  2. California
  Agency Presentation
7.   5 Small (4"x6") State Flags:
  1. Michigan
  2. Ohio
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Hawaii
  5. (1) City of San Jóse Flag
  Agency Presentation
8.   5 Small (4"x6") Flags:
  1. United Kingdom
  2. India
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Canada
  5. Australia
  6. Greece
  7. Israel
  8. Vatican
  Agency Presentation
9.   20 Small (4"x6") Military Flags:
  1. 20 U.S. Air Force
  2. 20 U.S. Army
  3. 20 U.S. Coast Guard
  4. 20 U.S. Marine Corps
  5. 20 U.S. Navy
  Agency Presentation
10.  
  1. 10 Small United States Flags
  2. 10 Small Alabama State Flags
  Marshall Space Flight Center Presentation
11.  
  1. 10 Small Louisiana State Flags
  2. 10 Small Mississippi State Flags
  3. 5 Small NASA Flags
  4. 5 Small United States Flags
  5. 2 12"x20" LSU Flags
  Stennis Space Center Presentation
12.  
  1. 5 Small United States Flags
  2. 5 Small Florida State Flags
  3. 15 1.75" KSC Medallions
  Kennedy Space Center Presentation
13.   200 Silver Snoopy Pins   Space Flight Awareness Presentation
 
14.   25 EVA Patches   Agency Presentation
15.  
  1. 10 STS-134 Crew Patches
  2. 23 Small (4"x6") U.S. flags
  3. 11 Space Development & Test Wing Coins
  4. 10 DoD Space Test Program Patches
  5. 5 USS Hopper (DDG-70) Unit Coins
  6. 1 20th Space Control Squadron Unit Patch
  7. 1 20th Space Control Squadron Unit Scarf
  DoD Presentation
16.   25 COD Patches   Center Operations Directorate Presentation
 
17.   25 Mission Operations Patches   Mission Operation Directorate Presentation
 
18.   27 Safety and Mission Assurance Patches   Safety and Mission Assurance Presentation
 
19.   25 JSC Engineering Patches   Engineering Directorate Presentation
 
20.   50 Power of One Lapel Pins   JSC Presentation
 
21.  
  1. 10 Silver NASA Medallions (Ingots)
  2. 8"x10" Paper Artwork
  Agency Presentation
22.  
  1. Challenger Center DVD
  2. 4 Challenger Center Computer Flash Drives
  Agency Presentation
23.   100 Navy Space Systems Patches   Navy Presentation
 
24.   2 Apollo 1 Patches   Agency Presentation
 
Items 25 through 80 are manifested at the request of the STS-134 crewmembers.
 
25.   1"x2" Gold Bar   U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Great Neck, NY
 
26.   6"x8.5" Printed Poem   Tucson Poetry Center, Tucson, AZ
 
27.   6.5"x10" Comic Book Cover   Archie Comics, Rye, NY
 
28.   355th Fighter Wing Medallion   Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, AZ
 
29.   11"x16" Red and White Pennant   Fort Huachuca, Sierra Vista, AZ
 
30.   9" Wooden Ball   Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth, UK
 
31.   Red Astros Jersey   Houston Astros, Houston, TX
 
32.   5"x7" Photograph   Clear Creek Intermediate School Math Dept., League City, TX
 
33.   Black T-Shirt   Clear Creek Intermediate School, League City, TX
 
34.   3'x5' White and Green Flag   Clear Falls High School, League City, TX
 
35.   1.75'x1.2' White School Banner   Bayside Intermediate School, League City, TX
 
36.   White T-Shirt   Mossman Elementary School, League City, TX
 
37.   Black Tote Bag   Hagerty Insurance, Traverse City, MI
 
38.   Gen. Henry "Hap" Arnold USAF 5-Star Insignia   National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
 
39.   Small White Patch   Mayor's Office, L'Aquila, Italy
 
40.   46th Aircraft Maintenance X Squadron Medallion   Eglin AFB, FL
 
41.   Pink and Black Keychain   L.A. Marine, Lake Ann, MI
 
42.   Gold American Contract Bridge League Pin   ACBL, Horn Lake, MS
 
43.   Book Cover   Microstrategy, Inc., Vienna, VA
 
44.   1.5'x5' White Banner   Erie Planetarium, Erie, PA
 
45.   3'x4' Green, White and Red Flag with Patches   Planetario, Citta de Lecco, Italy
 
46.   3'x5' U.S. Flag   Department of Defense Payloads Office, Houston, TX
 
47.   3.3'x2.3' Blue Flag   West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
 
48.   Gray T-shirt   Junior Dynamos Academy, Houston, TX
 
49.   17.5"x18" Red Banner   University of Southern California Alumni, Houston, TX
 
50.   11"x18" Red Towel   Sewickley Academy, Pittsburgh, PA
 
51.   Red and Black Hat   Chandra-Tora Associates, New Delhi, India
 
52.   Gold Pocket Watch   Ingalls Images Photography, Washington, DC
 
53.   Silver International Space Station Pin   Clear Lake Piano, Houston, TX
 
54.   5.5"x9" White Pennant   Regione Toscana, Toscana, Italy
 
55.   9"x13" White Pennant   Security Institute Falcon, Rome Italy
 
56.   11"x9" Red Banner   Citta di Perugia, Perugia, Italy
 
57.   7"x11" White Pennant   Lions Club Sansepolcro, Italy
 
58.   3'x5' Flag   Centro Internazionale per la Pace, Popoli de Assisi, Italy
 
59.   3'x5' Flag of Italy   President's Office, Rome Italy
 
60.   6.5"x10" Flag of Italy   Italian Space Agency, Rome, Italy
 
61.   4"x2" Tan Stone   L'Aquila City, Italy
 
62.   10" Metal Disk   National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Rome, Italy
 
63.   2.5'x6.5' Banner   Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
 
64.   3'x5' Purple, Yellow and Red Flag   Sigma Phi Epsilon Foundation, Richmond, VA
 
65.   3'x6' Red Flag   Province of Ontario, Canada
 
66.   4.5"x4.5" White Tile   McGill University, Montreal Canada
 
67.   6" Black Stuffed Animal   Moravska Ustredna, Brno, Czech Republic
 
68.   Tan Hat   Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Department, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
 
69.   Green and White School Letter "O"   Lake Orion High School, Lake Orion, MI
 
70.   12"x7.5" U.S. Flag   ABCK's Enterprises, Webster, TX
 
71.   3'x5' Yellow, White and Blue Flag   Office of the Mayor, San Jose, CA
 
72.   3'x2' Blue Banner   Silvercrest Elementary, Pearland, TX
 
73.   1.5'x1.5' Chess Board Mat   United States Chess Federation, Crossville, TN
 
74.   11"x14.5" Embroidered Placemat   Fairmount Bagels, Montreal, Canada
 
75.   13"x19" Printed Letter   Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, MA
 
76.   Small Blue Scrubs   Baylor Department of Pediatrics, Houston, TX
 
77.   Blue Patch   University of Sydney, Australia
 
78.   Patch   Boy Scouts Santa Clara County Council, CA
 
79.   Silver STS-134 Medallion   Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
 
80.   Silver STS-134 Medallion   California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA
 
81.   56 Assorted Constellation Patches   Agency Presentation
 
82.   25 NASA Tournament Lab Decals   Agency Presentation
 
83.   50 STS-134 Crew Patches   Space Shuttle Program Presentation
 
STS-134 Addendum OFK
 
1.   2718 Space Shuttle Program (SSP) Commemorative End of Mission Pins   SSP Presentation
 
2.   1 Roll of Foil   SSP Presentation
 
3.   3744 Small (4"x6") United States Flags   JSC Presentation
 
4.   450 STORRM Mission Patches   SSP Presentation
 
5.   815 Sheets of Wings in Orbit Bookmarks   SSP Presentation
 
6.   3000 Sheets SSP Legacy Bookmarks   SSP Presentation
 
7.   2000 Small (4"x6") Orbiter Flags   KSC Presentation
 
8.   25 NASA Human Research Program Patches   Space Life Sciences Presentation
 
9.   312 NASA/HRP Team Pins   Space Life Sciences Presentation
 
10.   1400 Space Life Sciences Lapel Pins   Space Life Sciences Presentation
 
11.   400 STS-134 SSP Bookmarks   SSP Presentation
 
12.   600 AMS Patches   International Space Station Presentation
 
13.   100 AMS Pins   ISS Presentation
 
14.   1 JAXA Memorial Wood Printing Block   ISS Presentation
 
15.   50 MERLIN U.S. Flags   ISS Presentation
 
16.   100 POIC Decals   ISS Presentation
 
17.   25 GLACIER Patches   ISS Presentation
 
18.   50 GLACIER Decals   ISS Presentation
 
19.   3 Cubelab-Kentucky Flag Patches   ISS Presentation
 
20.   12 Cubelab-NANORACKS Card   ISS Presentation
 
21.   100 BCAT-6 Patches   ISS Presentation
 
22.   15 CardioVascular Patches   ISS Presentation
 
23.   29 CardioVascular Decals   ISS Presentation
 
24.   3 Full Size (3'x5') United States Flags   Agency Presentation
 
25.   150 ULF6 Mission Pins   ISS Presentation
 
26.   100 STP-H3 Patches   ISS Presentation
 
27.   200 Shuttle Commemorative End of Mission Patches   SSP Presentation
 
28.   60 NASA Medallions   Agency Presentation
 
29.   25 CSA Patches   ISS Presentation
 
30.   50 CSA Decals   ISS Presentation
 
31.   10 University of Guelph Medallion Magnets (CSA)   ISS Presentation
 
32.   20 University of Guelph Patches (CSA)   ISS Presentation
 
33.   200 Robonaut Patches   ISS Presentation
 
34.   50 BXF Investigation Patches   ISS Presentation
 
35.   103 Boy Scout Robotic Merit Badges   Agency Presentation
 
36.   142 Sheets SSP Bookmarks   SSP Presentation
 
37.   1 Full Size (3'x5') LSU Flag   Stennis Space Center Presentation
 
38.   247 Shuttle Commemorative End of Mission Pins   SSP Presentation
 
39.   150 ULF6 Mission Patches   ISS Presentation
 
40.   101 EVA Patches   ISS Presentation
 
41.   100 MISSE Decals   ISS Presentation
 
42.   60 ULF5 MIssion Pins   ISS Presentation
 
43.   40 ASI Logos   ISS Presentation
 
44.   40 ASI Italian Flags   ISS Presentation
 
45.   15 ASI Small Logo Flags   ISS Presentation
 
46.   25 ASI Small Italian Flags   ISS Presentation
 
47.   30 IVGEN Patches   ISS Presentation
 
48.   30 Harness Station SDTO Patches   ISS Presentation
 
49.   1 String of Beads   Marshall Space Flight Center Presentation
 
50.   1 Robonaut Hand/Arm with TMG Glove   Agency Presentation
 
51.   1 ESA Achievement Award   ISS Presentation

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