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Youngsters' names displayed in space

UPI News Service, 11/05/2007 

Students at a Kentucky school are part of a worldwide group of children whose digitized banners with their names are now 235 miles above their heads in space.

The banner carrying the names of 187 students at Sts. Peter and Paul School in California, Ky., and 550 other banners around the world, were chosen to fly aboard the shuttle Discovery's STS-120 mission to the International Space Station, The Cincinnati Post reported Monday.

The hand-made banners, which were digitized for their space trip, are part of the "Signatures in Space" program, sponsored by NASA and Lockheed Martin Corp. The program aims to increase young children's interest in science. Once the shuttle returns to Earth, the banners will be returned to the school along with a photograph of the seven-member shuttle crew.

"I think anybody you talk to in NASA, they'll say education is the top priority in the agency," said Kyle Herring, a spokesman for NASA in Houston. "For NASA to survive in the long term, you have to get youngsters interested because all of us aren't going to be here in 20, 30 years."

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Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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