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g6tmk wrote:
> Hello group,
> I was reading the text of the tribute message broadcast by Astronaut Mike
> Fincke and cosmonaut Gennady Padalka from the ISS. I am intrigued - surely
> NASA hasn't used valuable payload space to send a real, brass ship's bell up
> into space ??  or is it an electronic bell ?

There really is a small ship's bell, (as would be suitable for a *very* 
small sailing vessel) on board, and it has become an important part of 
tradition aboard ISS. It is rung to mark special occasions such as 
arrivals and departures of visiting spacecraft, and it was rung seven 
times to mark the loss of the STS-107 crew.

You can see the bell here:


It is neither very large nor very heavy. My personal feeling is that 
some traditions need to be carried forward (just as we invent some new 
ones) as humans become a spacefaring race, and that the mass budget 
expended for this particular manifest item is well-spent.

  73 de Maggie K3XS

-----/___.   _)Margaret Stephanie Leber CCP, SCJP/"The art of progress /
----/(, /|  /| http://voicenet.com/~maggie SCWCD/ is to preserve order/
---/   / | / |  _   _   _    `  _  AOPA 925383/ amid change and to  /
--/ ) /  |/  |_(_(_(_/_(_/__(__(/_      K3XS / preserve change amid/
-/ (_/   '        .-/ .-/        ARRL 39280 /order."-A.N.Whitehead/
/________________(_/_(_/_______AMSAT 32844_/<maggie@voicenet.com>/

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