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  • Earhart Watch to Accompany Astronaut on Long Mission
    Posted by Mark Carreau 12:56 PM on Jun 10, 2010

    blog post photo
    Astronaut Shannon Walker, left, Joan Kerwin, Ninety-Nines director, display Earhart Watch. NASA photo.

    A watch worn by famed American aviator Amelia Earhart, who disappeared in 1937 while attempting to become the first woman to fly around the world, will accompany NASA Astronaut Shannon Walker as she launches to the International Space Station on June 15.

    Walker will join Soyuz commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and fellow astronaut Doug Wheelock as they lift off for the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:35 p.m., EDT.

    "I think it's very significant," said Walker, who is qualified as a Soyuz backup pilot. "It represents how far women have come in the field of aviation, and how far we can go."

    The disappearance of Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan in their twin engine Lockheed Electra near Howland Island in the North Pacific on July 2, 1937, remains one of aviation's most enduring mysteries.

    The timepiece was presented to Walker by the Ninety-Nines Organization of Women Pilots in October. Earhart wore the wrist watch on her two trans-Atlantic flights. Walker, a licensed pilot and a member of the Ninety-Nines, asked the organization for something of Earhart's to take along on her six month mission.

    A scarf worn by the famous aviator accompanied NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik on the STS 129 space station assembly mission in November.

    The Ninety-Nines, which counts more than 5,000 members in 35 countries, was founded in 1929. Earhart served as the organization's first president.

    Once back on Earth, Earhart's watch will be placed on display in The Ninety-Nines Museum of Women Pilots in Oklahoma City.

    Tags: ar99

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