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Flags for Heroes and Families

NASA will fly thousands of American flags on its next space shuttle flight and then give them to the survivors of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and victims' families.

The "Flags for Heroes and Families" campaign was announced by NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin on Thursday, one day after he met in New York City with Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to lift off Nov. 29 with a fresh crew for the international space station. On board will be an estimated 10,000 U.S. flags, each measuring 3¾ inches by 5 inches.

"NASA wanted to come up with an appropriate tribute to the people who lost their lives in the tragic events of September 11," Goldin said in a statement.

After Endeavour's 11-day flight, the flags will be mounted on certificates and presented to the survivors and families of victims in the World Trade Center and Pentagon disasters, and to the families of those killed aboard the jetliner that crashed in
Pennsylvania.

NASA has frequently flown flags on space missions, starting with the flight of America's first spaceman, Alan Shepard, in 1961. While in New York on Wednesday, Goldin presented Giuliani with an American flag carried into space on a previous shuttle mission.

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