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Space Shuttle
Challenger and Columbia Disasters
Explorers and Expeditions

Which crew members of Challenger STS-51-L were in scouting?


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February 23, 2010 12:49AM

Astronaut Ellison Onizuka participated in scouting and reached the level of Eagle Scout. However STS-51L had another connection to scouting as well. One of the items flown in STS-51L's flight kit was an American Flag sponsored by Boy Scout Troop 514 of Monument, Colorado. Their scoutmaster, William Tolbert (A major in the USAF space command), ordered the flag and arranged for it to be flown over the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., then flown on the space shuttle during STS-51L. However STS-51L ended in disaster as the space shuttle Challenger was destroyed. Later divers found the the flag, still completely intact and sealed in a plastic bag. The flag was returned to Boy Scout troop 514 in a special ceremony, presented by astronaut Guy Bluford (Also a past Eagle scout).