Beads In Space

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Beads of Courage has been to space twice!

On May 14, 2010, we made bead history when we launched artist-made glass beads into space as part of the payload on the NASA Atlantis Space Shuttle Mission STS-132. One year later, beads were again sent to low-Earth orbit aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour Mission STS-134.

The Beads in Space project came to fruition through bead dad Jamie Newton, a NASA contractor, whose daughter Sydney received beads during her treatment for childhood cancer.

The beads that went into space were chosen from a nationwide contest challenging lampwork glass bead artists to design space-themed beads for the missions. The beads from the first mission were featured on a colorful poster given to children in hospitals across the country.

Once the beads returned the Earth, they became part of the Beads in Space Tour, which traveled the US for two years visiting children’s hospitals and museums. The highlight of the tour was an exhibit showcasing the handcrafted space beads which flew 4.8 million miles at over 17,500 miles per hour aboard Atlantis and Endeavour. Following the tour, the exhibit landed at Challenger Space Center in Arizona for a two-year stay.

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Beads in Space Experiences

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We are honored to have several space celebrities, including legendary Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and Geoffrey Notkin, star of TV’s “Meteorite Men” and president of the National Space Society who have participated in our Carry a Bead Program.

Click to enlarge poster

A Note from Beads of Courage: 

We are honored to recognize Geoff Notkin, star of TV’s Meteorite Men, for his generous donation establishing the Beads of Courage Beads in Space Program as an ongoing encouragement program for Beads of Courage members and families. Geoff is a longtime supporter of Beads of Courage and our mission of hope and healing for kids coping with serious illness. As a world-renowned television host, filmmaker, meteorite specialist, spaceflight advocate, science writer and artist, Geoff believes in the healing power of art and knows the topic of space serves as a launchpad for children to dream big and be inspired by the mysteries and wonders of the universe. Thank you, Geoff, for establishing this exciting encouragement program for Beads of Courage members, siblings and families!

A Note from Geoff Notkin: 

Beads of Courage supports children who are fighting serious illnesses by giving a bead to each child after every course of treatment has been completed. I know from my own experience, from watching and being a part of it, what a difference Beads of Courage makes, not just in the lives of the children but in the lives for their families as well. BOC is active in 10 countries and over 400 hospitals, daily carrying out meaningful and life-affirming work for children facing serious illness. Being a supporter of Beads of Courage for the past 12 years has been immensely rewarding and meaningful to me. I hope the Beads in Space Program always encourages children coping with serious illness to remember that their imagination can take them anywhere!

Read more about Geoff on our blog.