Beads of Courage (NASA, Space Shuttle, 5/10/10)
Editor's Note: this image is part of a series that shows the designs of the "Beads of Courage" that will fly aboard Shuttle Mission STS-132. The text below is from the NASA feature, which you can read at www.nasa.gov/topics/nasalife/features/beads.html .
Soldiers, policemen and firemen risk their lives every day serving their country or community. Each day people stumble upon accidents or jump into frozen rivers to save survivors of plane crashes. We recognize these heroes for their acts of courage; medals, decorations and other rewards are bestowed upon them by an appreciative public official or superior officer.
How do you recognize and encourage a young child fighting a battle against a life-threatening disease? A battle that is no less dangerous and harrowing? A battle where the outcome is as uncertain as the dangers faced by more well-known heroes?
You present that child with a Bead of Courage.
Beads of Courage is the organization that provides the Beads of Courage Program and other innovative, arts-in-medicine supportive care programs for children coping with serious illness, their families and the health care providers who care for them. NASA and Beads of Courage sponsored the idea of sponsoring a contest for the best designs of a new bead of courage. These special beads of courage would highlight the role of the space program as space beads of courage.
The contest to design the space beads of courage ran from mid-March to mid-April and concluded with the selection of 17 bead designs. Realizing that only a handful of shuttle launches remained before the end of the shuttle program, Newton and Beads of Courage submitted a request to fly the beads to NASA. The Space Shuttle Program Office at Johnson Space Center in Houston approved the request to fly the beads as part of NASA's Official Flight Kit.
The space beads, designed by talented bead artists, will fly aboard space shuttle Atlantis with Commander Ken Ham, Pilot Tony Antonelli, and Mission Specialists Garrett Reisman, Michael Good, Steve Bowen, and Piers Sellers. The shuttle and its crew are scheduled to lift off on Friday, May 14 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After Atlantis returns from its mission, NASA will present the string of beads to Beads of Courage Inc. as a symbol of courage to sick children everywhere.
More about Beads of Courage: