The crews of STS-135 and Expedition 28 float on the International Space Station with a U.S. flag that was flown on the first space shuttle mission, STS-1, in 1981. The flag returned to orbit on this mission to be presented to the space station crew. It will remain onboard until the next crew launched from the U.S. retrieves it for return to Earth. It will then fly from Earth again, with the crew that launches from the U.S. on a journey of exploration beyond Earth orbit.
The STS-135 crew consists of NASA astronauts Chris Ferguson, Doug Hurley, Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim; the Expedition 28 crewmembers are JAXA astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, NASA astronauts Ron Garan and Mike Fossum, and Russian cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko, Alexander Samokutyaev and Sergei Volkov. Shuttle and station commanders Ferguson and Borisenko are in the 12 o’clock and six o’clock positions, respectively, on the circle.