Cooperative education students (co-ops) from around the country
working at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston recently
gathered to share their own pride and patriotism by preparing
commemorative packages, including U.S. flags flown in space, to be
presented to relatives of the victims of September 11.

As part of NASA’s "Flags for Heroes and Families” program,
nearly 6,000 small American flags, and one large American flag
recovered from the World Trade Center, were flown on space shuttle
Endeavour during the STS-108 mission in December 2001. During the
mission, Endeavour traveled more than 4.8 million miles and delivered
the Expedition Four crew to the International Space Station.

Surrounded by U.S. flags and mementoes of the space program, nearly 40
co-ops assembled the packages to be sent to New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg’s office for distribution.

“This is our opportunity to show our support to the victims of
September 11,” said Nick Skytland, a student from Valparaiso
University. “I don’t think comforting the victims of terrorism
will ever grow old. I hope it helps them realize how much we still

The “Flags for Heroes and Families” program will culminate
in a Flag Day ceremony June 14. There, NASA Administrator Sean
O’Keefe will return the American flag recovered from the World
Trade Center to the city at New York’s American Museum of Natural
History’s Rose Center for Earth and Space.

Images of the event are available at Video of the event will be
available at 5 p.m. CDT June 14 on NASA TV. NASA TV is available on
GE-2, Transponder 9C, at 85 degrees West longitude, vertical
polarization, with a frequency of 3880 MHz and audio of 6.8 MHz.

The JSC Cooperative Education Program provides students with practical
experience, allowing students to apply the principles and theories
learned in the classroom while earning wages comparable to what they
will make upon graduation. The program benefits JSC by providing the
Center with a source of future employees.