[sarex] MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
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Wed Jan 24 19:25:08 PST 2007
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
PERMISSION GRANT BY EAGLE-TRIBUNE - ANDOVER, MA..
Mission accomplished: After 5 million-mile space journey, T-shirt
returns to Haverhill school
By Mike LaBella , Staff Writer
HAVERHILL. MA. - It seems almost everyone at Golden Hill Elementary
School has one of those purple T-shirts bearing the school's name and
the image of an eagle, the school mascot.
Members of the track team wear them. So do members of the Student
Council and even students not involved with any organized group.
But one of the shirts that looks the same as all the others has a
special story to tell, a tale about a journey of more than 5 million
miles - all the way from the school to Florida, then into space and back
Yesterday, students and staff gathered in the school auditorium to
welcome the shirt back home.
It had traveled 5.3 million miles, orbiting Earth 202 times during space
shuttle Discovery's 13-day mission.
The journey began two years ago when students in teachers Mary Larcome
and Joann Atwood's classes contacted NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, the man
chosen to pilot Discovery. Kelly attended the U.S. Merchant Marine
Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., with U.S. Naval Reserve Cmdrs. John Zaino
and his wife, Terri Zaino. They are the brother and sister-in-law of
Judy Zaino, supervisor of elementary curriculum for Haverhill schools.
During a family gathering, John Zaino asked his nephew and niece, Golden
Hill students Joshua Zaino and Lia Zaino, what they were studying in
school. Joshua told him he was learning about space. John Zaino talked
about his friendship with Kelly and his work with NASA.
One thing led to another, and soon students in Larcome and Atwood's
classes were e-mailing questions about space travel to John Zaino, who
in turn relayed the questions to Kelly.
But Joshua and his sister had an even better idea. After talking with
their grandmother Barbara Zaino of Wilmington, they decided to ask Kelly
if he would take one of their school T-shirts into space.
"I thought it would be a cool thing to do," Joshua said. "I really
didn't think the shirt would come back to us."
John Zaino told his niece and nephew that it would be a difficult thing
to get approved, but he would do his best to make it happen - and he was
"I think this is a fairly rare situation," John Zaino said moments
before addressing yesterday's crowd. "There are very limited and
restrictive packing requirements on the space shuttle."
Superintendent Raleigh Buchanan was there to witness the shirt's return
to Golden Hill and applauded the efforts of students whose idea to
contact NASA culminated in this historic event.
"There are 16,000 school districts in America and 38 million elementary
students out there," Buchanan told the crowd. "It's quite an honor that
we can bring recognition to this school."
The students were ecstatic during the event.
"Both classes of students and both teachers had signed the Golden Hill
T-shirt," fifth-grader Sarah Slocum said during yesterday's ceremonies.
"Astronaut and pilot Mark Kelly came through for us big time,"
fifth-grader Ashley Boulanger said.
Along with the shirt, Kelly sent three shuttle mission patches to Golden
Hill. Principal Bonnie Antkowiak raffled them. The winners were
second-grader Angelica Castro, third-grader Arielle Angiuano and
sixth-grader Anthony Quinney.
"I'm going to put the patch in a safe spot," Anthony said after
No one will ever get to wear the shirt that went into space. It is going
on display at the school.
There is another shirt, however, one that did not go into space but was
signed by shuttle pilot Kelly. Golden Hill plans to raffle that shirt
and use the proceeds to buy science materials. Tickets are $1 each and
are available at the school at 140 Boardman St.
Travels of the Golden Hill T-shirt
Is carried almost 1,500 miles from Haverhill to Kennedy Space Center in
Blasts off into space July 4, 2006, aboard the space shuttle.
Orbits Earth 202 times, traveling 5.3 million miles.
Lands back in Florida July 17, 2006.
Returns to Golden Hill School in Haverhill yesterday.
Students' questions to astronaut Mark Kelly
Q. What does zero gravity feel like?
A. It feels like you're going over the top of the roller coaster
initially. Then you get used to it and you can fly around the spaceship
like Superman. It is a lot of fun!
Q. If you squeeze toothpaste in the space shuttle, will it float?
A. Everything floats.
Q. What kinds of food do you eat in space?
A. There are about 500 things on the menu that you can choose from. One
of my favorites is the shrimp cocktail. I also like the Mexican
scrambled eggs, the chicken in peanut sauce and of course, the spinach.
Q. Is it hard to walk in a spacesuit?
A. The suits we launch in are called launch and entry suits. They're
probably about 70 pounds so it is hard to walk into and out of the space
shuttle. The suits that we do the spacewalks in are about 700 pounds,
but we only wear those in zero gravity so then they don't weigh anything.
Q. What does the launch feel like?
A. Like a runaway train going 1,000 miles per hour.
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