HOUSTON, Texas — As NASA prepared to launch its STS-26 mission in 1988, a special delivery arrived at Mission Control in Houston.
A bouquet of roses, one for each astronaut taking part in the mission and a white rose to honor astronauts “whose lives have been lost in NASA’s exploration of space.” Tucked inside was a note of well wishes.
“When I first walked into the control room I noticed them right away, because it was so different, and I walked over and read the card,” JSC Associate Director Milt Heflin, who at the time was the shuttle flight director, said. “It was very simple, saying congratulations and wishing everyone the best on the mission. It was signed but it didn’t have any contact information for the senders.”