After two space missions and more than five months of living in orbit, astronaut Clay Anderson says he’s collected some unusual souvenirs. Anderson, the first and only Nebraska native to go into space, says he has incredible memories of his experiences in the weightless world, but when it comes to physical objects, only a few stand out.
Anderson says, “From my first mission, I was given a hand rail that I took off of the International Space Station on my third spacewalk, which hangs proudly in my house.” He says he was also allowed to bring home some micrometeoroid shields which he hopes to donate to the Strategic Air and Space Museum in Ashland, which is Anderson’s hometown.
He says much of the joy of having a few artifacts from his space travels is sharing them with others. Anderson says, “The fact that I am able to bring pieces of hardware home that I can let people see and let people feel and touch, those are probably the best keepsakes for me.”
In April, Anderson was part of a shuttle Discovery crew that spent 15 days in space. That follows his five-month assignment living on the space station in 2007.