NASA Missions and the American Flag (Photos)

Remembering Home


This American flag flew outside one of the cupola windows of the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Jack Fischer captured the image during Expedition 51. Ed White's spacesuit was the first to feature the American flag after he performed the first U.S. spacewalk.

The American flag has played a prominent role in NASA missions; here's a look at the flag and NASA, in space and on the ground.

For Big Moments


NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson prepares for her eighth spacewalk inside the U.S. Quest Airlock with the American flag displayed prominently and proudly on her spacesuit.

Rights Extended


On Election Day 2016, the United States flag waved proudly outside the window of the cupola on the International Space Station to celebrate the vote for astronauts in space.

For the Country


The Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) lies about a half-mile from launch pad-0A and notably displays the U.S. flag. The Orbital ATK Antares rocket also displays the flag as it makes it way to NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

From the Start


On June 28, 2016, at the Orbital ATK Propulsion System test facility in Promontory, Utah, the Space Launch System's booster rocket, with its American flag decoration, undergoes its second and final qualification motor (QM-2) test.

Honor for the Flag


On Flag Day, June 14, 2015, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly celebrated by snapping this image of the United States flag in the cupola of the International Space Station.

Proudly Worn


During 2015's Expedition 45, NASA astronaut and expedition commander Scott Kelly participates in a fit check of his spacesuit, with U.S. Flag on the left shoulder, in preparation for a spacewalk.

For Firsts


On August 30, 1984, the Space Shuttle Discovery made its maiden spaceflight. The shuttle launched from Kennedy Space Center carrying America's second woman in space, Judith Resnik. The American flag was inscribed near the main engines.

For the Cosmos


The United States flag even makes it onto other planets, as seen on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity. The flag medallion is on one of the rover's four mobility rocker arms.

For the Nation


During a "State of NASA" address in the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building Feb. 2, 2015, the U.S. flag hangs proudly over NASA Administrator Charles Bolden as he presents NASA's budget rollout.

Keeping the Mission in Mind


At Northrup Grumman, in Redondo Beach, California, the American flag even features on the facility where a major test for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope sunshield is performed.

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Christine Lunsford
Producer and Contributing Writer

Christine Lunsford joined the team in 2010 as a freelance producer and later became a contributing writer, covering astrophotography images, astronomy photos and amazing space galleries and more. During her more than 10 years with, oversaw the site's monthly skywatching updates and produced overnight features and stories on the latest space discoveries. She enjoys learning about subjects of all kinds.