DOTHAN – Troy University can now add space to the list of places its flag has flown. The TROY colors are currently orbiting the Earth aboard Space Shuttle Discovery.
The flag, which is part of the shuttle’s payload, measures approximately 11.5 by 13.5 inches. It is white with a cardinal and gray TROY shield and swords.
When the shuttle lifted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on October 23, ten members of TROY’s Wiregrass Math & Science Consortium were on hand to watch. The Wiregrass educators will carry stories about the launch back to their classrooms.
Consortium Co-director Sandy Armstrong worked with NASA Astronaut Doug Wheelock, a member of the shuttle crew, to help make the TROY flag’s space flight possible.
“Being a TROY graduate and now working with TROY, there is a lot of pride in knowing that the shuttle is carrying something that represents the university I am associated with,” Armstrong said.
Wheelock has met with Consortium members and remains in regular contact with the Wiregrass teachers. The mission specialist has even been in communication with Armstrong this week from space. She said it is unusual for K-12 teachers in rural school systems to have such access to a space mission.
“It motivates the teachers and excites them about the space program,” Armstrong remarked. “They take that excitement back to their classrooms and encourage their students to become interested in math and science.”
The TROY flag will spend 15 days in space before returning to Earth on November 7. Wheelock is expected to visit Troy University in the spring to meet with members of the Consortium. At that time, he is scheduled to return the flag to Dr. Jack Hawkins, Troy University chancellor.
The Troy University Wiregrass Math & Science Consortium is housed on the Dothan Campus and funded by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education. For more information about the Consortium, contact Sandy Armstrong or Christina Johnson at 334-983-6556, ext. 1-371.