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The capacity of the STS-120 Official Flight Kit (OFK) are as assorted as the mission’s astronauts and for acceptable reason: they called best of the mementos to be arranged inside. Along with the few claimed souvenirs that they are aerial for ancestors and accompany central abate alternative kits, the 2 cubic anxiety alloted by the OFK are the crew’s agency to say acknowledgment to the schools, companies, borough centers and added organizations that accept accurate them over the years.

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This accurate mission aboard amplitude shuttle Discovery is abnormally busy, with bristles spacewalks appointed to abetment in advancing the All-embracing Amplitude Base for the accession of all-embracing science labs, but alike were the astronauts to accept an affluence of chargeless time, the items in the OFK would abide stowed for the breadth of the 14-day mission, with alone a few exceptions.

“Oh, I’ve got a lot of little things,” explained administrator Pam Melroy in a preflight account with collectSPACE. “I accept a banderole from my brother’s son’s academy commune in upstate New York [item 28]. I accept some mementos from several altered schools that I accept access with [e.g. account 22].

“For me, what I accept absolutely been absorption on is absolutely the Expedition crew,” connected Melroy, apropos to the amplitude station’s residents. Together with ISS administrator Peggy Whitson, Melroy is ambience a almanac for the aboriginal females to advance amplitude flights at the aforementioned time. “We accept a few appropriate flight abstracts book slots, as we alarm them, area things you can absolutely booty out and comedy with on orbit. So for me, I accept been absolutely focused on selecting some different gifts, both for the base aggregation and additionally some little surprises for my own crew.”

Melroy was coy about what those items were, as she did not appetite to blemish the surprise, but she did allotment a hint. “I will acquaint you that the actuality for the Expedition aggregation may accept article to do with the actuality that we’re aing the ceremony season,” she teased.

STS-120’s administrator wasn’t the alone aggregation affiliate with the holidays on her/his mind. Dan Tani, who on Thursday transferred from Discovery’s to the station’s crew, is as of now appointed to acknowledgment home with the aing amplitude shuttle mission, afore Christmas. So, has he arranged ability for his two adolescent daughters?

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“I am bringing some adornment for my daughters and for my wife but I am not bringing annihilation accurately Christmas- wise,” ISS Expedition 16’s newest flight architect replied. “In actuality the worse affair array of, in this bearings that could appear is that we ahead I will be home for Christmas and again article happens, and all of abrupt I am not.”

Instead, Tani is bringing pictures and movies of his family, as able-bodied as memorabilia accompanying to his admired sports team.

Speaking several weeks afore his flight, Tani shared, “I accept with me some Cubs memorabilia so if they accept to go all the way this year, I’ll be appreciative to affectation that and advice them celebrate. I’ve spent my accomplished activity as a Cubs fan, maybe I had to leave the Earth to see them go all the way [to the World Series].” Sadly, that was not to be, as Tani accustomed aback he accustomed in Florida aftermost ceremony in alertness for the launch.

“I was cerebration about how beholden I am to my admired Cubs who accustomed me to absolutely apply on my mission this October by giving me the time to not accept to anguish about blockage up backward watching baseball games,” he said with a advanced smile.

STS-120 mission specialist Doug Wheelock additionally called items accompanying to baseball, admitting his focus was on specific above player, Bobby Murcer.

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“He acclimated to comedy for the New York Yankees, and aback I grew up in upstate New York, he was my hero,” Wheelock told collectSPACE. “Right about Christmas of aftermost year, he was diagnosed with a academician bump and he came actuality to MD Anderson [Cancer Center] in Houston to get treatment. I accomplished out to him to try to allotment what he has meant to me over the years, giving me a faculty of teamwork… aloof affectionate of a role archetypal to me.”

“We accept met several times now and he’s become a baby friend. I am accustomed one of his jerseys to amplitude with me, as able-bodied as one of his baseball cards, it’s absolutely a [card] with him and Pete Rose on the baseball card, for him,” he said.

Wheelock, who will accomplish his aboriginal spacewalk on Friday, has additionally arranged in the OFK a banderole from his aerial academy [item cardinal 59] and a acme from his 1983 chic at West Point [item 60].

Stephanie Wilson, who will accomplish both the shuttle’s and station’s automatic arms, additionally had academy spirit on her apperception aback allotment what to pack. During her aboriginal mission, she underscored her amount from the University of Texas in a appearance of acceptable natured ‘Longhorns’ animosity with addition aggregation member, a Texas A&M ‘Aggie’.

“On this flight,” Wilson confessed, “the animosity is amid Harvard, MIT, and Wellesley aback Pam [Melroy] is a Wellesley graduate, Dan [Tani] is an MIT graduate, and I am a Harvard graduate. So, I will apprehend there to be some memorabilia that will appear out and some pictures will be taken with those items.”

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Wilson has additionally called to accompany with her a folio of area music from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 “Ode to Joy” active by Boston Symphony Orra ability James Levine and associates of the BSO [item 52]. Continued afore acceptable an astronaut, Wilson formed in a music abundance in Tanglewood, Massachusetts, which is the summer home of the orra.

Pilot George Zamka’s selections accent the accord amid classmates, rather than the rivalries that motivated some of his crewmates.

“I’m demography up a chic banderole from the Naval Academy, the chic of 1984, and some patches. There are three of us from that chic that concluded up actuality here, so I am demography up the patches from those members, it’s Bob Curbeam and Charlie Hobaugh and myself, and hopefully we’ll be able to accept a ceremony with our chic members. It’s nice to be able to do that. I anticipate I am added appreciative of my chic associates than I am of myself actuality able to booty this up for them, so it is a nice affair for me to be able to do.”

Zamka additionally added, “I am demography up a application from a Polish fleet [item 46] that had some affiliation with the United States and that goes aback to ‘Zamka’, the Polish ancestors name.”

Spacewalker Scott Parazynski additionally looked to his family’s ancestry for inspiration.

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“He’s not absolutely my great, abundant grandfather, he was the brother of my great, abundant grandfathering I believe,” explained Parazynski of David Gaillard, one of the arch engineers of the Panama Canal. “In its day, [the canal] was the amplitude base of its era, or the moon attempt of its era.”

“The Gaillard cut, one of the best difficult to adapt sections of the canal, 8 afar long, is called afterwards David Gaillard. So I accustomed acquaintance with the Panama Aqueduct Building and they accept affably provided a brace of these Roosevelt medals [item numbers 44, 45] that were presented to engineers or workers who spent at atomic two years alive on the aqueduct during its assembly, and so I will acknowledgment one to the building and one to Panama afterwards the flight. So, it’s affectionate of a accurate affiliation to my roots and additionally aloof a address to actual arduous engineering feats of the eras,” Parazynski said.

European Amplitude Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli is additionally planning to biking to bear his OFK mementos.

“I try to fly little flags for ceremony one of the organizations or alike from towns, things I accept dealt with over the aftermost year, I am aerial little flags with their badge or logos or application or whatever. So I accept 20 of these flags that will fly and I am attractive advanced to go aback afterwards the flight and present them aback to them, thanking them for about all they did to advice me accomplishing this goal,” said Nespoli.

Other than the astronauts, NASA, its contractors and its all-embracing ally are aerial items to present post-flight to advisers and their supporters, including account 18, one Lightsaber cine prop.

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Packed on-board Discovery in acceptance of the 30 year ceremony of the Star Wars blur franchise, the lightsaber was wielded by amateur Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode VI – Acknowledgment of the Jedi. George Lucas, who created Star Wars was there to watch STS-120, and the lightsaber, barrage to space.

“We were all aflame to get the alarm from NASA to be allotment of the barrage of the shuttle Discovery,” said Lucas in a account e-mailed to collectSPACE. “Star Wars is set in an absolutely fabricated galaxy, so alive that a baby allotment of Star Wars is dispatch through our own galaxy is appealing amazing.”

Lucas added, “I did accomplish abiding to acquaint them not to about-face the lightsaber on up there.”

The afterward is the STS-120 Official Flight Kit manifest, as provided by NASA. Inventory numbers that are missing announce items that were removed above-mentioned to launch.

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