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Space Shuttle Payload Includes Yellowstone Items

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Date: February 16, 2010
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2015

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
February 16, 2010   10-007    
Al Nash (307) 344-2015


Space Shuttle Payload Includes Yellowstone Items

Several small items representing the world’s first national park are currently orbiting the earth.

They’re aboard the shuttle Endeavour, which launched into space early on February 8 from the Kennedy Space Center, headed for a rendezvous with the International Space Station.

Because of his love for the national parks, Mission Specialist Robert Behnken, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, sought to take items from iconic national parks like Yellowstone with him into space on the current flight of the space shuttle Endeavour.

Yellowstone provided a banner containing patches representing several aspects of park operations including a Junior Ranger patch. After the Shuttle returns to earth, the items will be returned to the park.

Weather permitting, Behnken will also attempt to take photographs of Old Faithful from earth’s orbit.

The Endeavour is scheduled to spend thirteen days in space, with landing currently set for Saturday evening, February 21 at the Kennedy Space Center.

- www.nps.gov/yell -

Did You Know?

Seventh Cavalry Ensignia Pin.

Prior to the establishment of the National Park Service, the U.S. Army protected Yellowstone between 1886 and 1918. Fort Yellowstone was established at Mammoth Hot Springs for that purpose.