SPACE SHUTTLE DISCOVERY CREW TO RECEIVE GOODWILL MESSAGES FROM STAR WARS FANS
Jedi Lightsaber Soaring Above Earth on Discovery During Dramatic Mission STS-120
HOUSTON (Nov. 5, 2007) - Star Wars fans from around the world are logging on to www.starwars.com to leave goodwill messages for the seven-person crew of the space shuttle Discovery, who this weekend performed emergency repairs on a solar wing at the International Space Station in one of history's most dramatic and dangerous space walks.
Fans can congratulate the crew and send words of support through Wednesday, when Discovery is scheduled to return to Earth. The official Star Wars website is partnering with Space Center Houston to collect online greetings from around the world, which will be placed onto a CD that will be presented to the space shuttle astronauts during the official public debriefing at NASA’s Space Center Houston after their return. Messages can be left by visiting www.starwars.com.
“Fans from as far away as Australia, India and Poland have sent in their messages of support, and we’re excited to present this to the crew when they come home,” said Roger Bornstein, Marketing Director for Space Center Houston.
The Force was with the Discovery crew as they successfully blasted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday, October 23 at 11:38 a.m. Star Wars fans instantly recognized the significance of the coincidental launch time – they also make up the title of director George Lucas’ influential first film, THX 1138.
STS-120 is the first mission with both female commanders for both the shuttle and the International Space Station (Shuttle Cdr. Pam Melroy and ISS Crd. Peggy Whitson). This launch also marks the first time that an original prop from the Star Wars Saga has ever made the journey into space.
The Jedi lightsaber, which appeared in Return of the Jedi, will also make its way back to NASA’s Space Center Houston once Discovery returns to Earth. “The Jedi lightsaber will have traveled more than six million miles in space after this mission,” says Bornstein. “And we’ll have the honor of displaying this flown movie artifact once it returns.” The Jedi lightsaber will be part of a new exhibit at Space Center Houston that will showcase a small collection of famous Star Wars movie props and a full-size X-wing starfighter. The exhibit will be on display through Jan. 1.