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State of Maine flag with historic journey presented to Gov. Mills

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 6:06 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - A piece of Maine returns home after its various destinations including the international space station.

“As governor, it is my great honor to accept this flag,” Gov Mills said.

The flag was originally brought to the Nasa Johnson space center in Houston by Derrick Porter, who not only designs space walks but also trains astronauts to do space walks.

“My first assignment, the first astronaut that I was going to train... as fate will have it,” Porter said.

It was none other than fellow Mainer, Dr. Jessica Meir.

“I very vividly remember that first moment, the weightlessness... it only takes about 8 minutes to get to space” Dr. Meir explained.

In space she was, with the Maine flag that was flown aboard the international space station during expeditions 61, 62 and 63 - a reminder of where it all started for her.

“there is a place every where for people from Maine, you can achieve whatever it is that you want, if you set out to do it,” she said.

The flag was returned by astronaut Chris Cassidy of York in October 2020. Now, it is being presented to Gov Mills at the State house who shared a poem by Walt Whitman.

“I wander’d off by myself, In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars,” Mills said.

The flag will be displayed at the state museum for Mainers to enjoy. Because of that, Dr. Meir gave Gov Mills a personal flag of her own.

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