Discovery's manifest includes ponytail

December 22, 2006

U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams, assigned to the International Space Station, sent a present home with the Discovery space shuttle crew -- a ponytail.

Williams' tresses were ferried back to Earth, where they will become a wig for a child suffering hair loss either from chemotherapy or a medical condition, USA Today said.

Williams earlier this month was shuttled to the ISS, where she'll live for six months. At the space station, astronaut Joan Higginbotham snipped the hair that hung down Williams' back.

"We're so excited," says Madonna Coffman, president of Locks of Love, which will receive Williams' hair. She said the donation "will bring in families who may not have known about us."

Williams grew her hair for months in anticipation of donating it, her mother, Bonnie Pandya, told USA Today.

Long hair can be problematic in the space station, which has no gravity to keep it in place. Cutting hair also can be tricky, the newspaper noted. Higginbotham used clippers attached to a hose connected to the station's vacuum system.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Gecko grippers moving on up

Related Stories

Gecko grippers moving on up

August 13, 2015

A piece of tape can only be used a few times before the adhesion wears off and it can no longer hold two surfaces together. But researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are working on the ultimate ...

Research into the health impacts of human spaceflight

July 15, 2015

Pioneering research from the University of Southampton into the health impacts of spaceflight has been identified as a possible experiment to be conducted by British astronaut Tim Peake on his maiden voyage to the International ...

NASA's OPALS to beam data from space via laser

July 11, 2013

(Phys.org) —NASA will use the International Space Station to test a new communications technology that could dramatically improve spacecraft communications, enhance commercial missions and strengthen transmission of scientific ...

OPALS boosts space-to-ground optical communications research

May 15, 2015

Ever wonder why stars seem to twinkle? This effect is caused by variations in the density of our atmosphere that cause blurring in light coming from space. It's pretty for stargazing, but a challenge for space-to-ground communications.

Recommended for you

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Dawn spacecraft sends sharper scenes from Ceres

August 25, 2015

The closest-yet views of Ceres, delivered by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, show the small world's features in unprecedented detail, including Ceres' tall, conical mountain; crater formation features and narrow, braided fractures.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.