Colorado State University alumnus and astronaut Kjell Lindgren has donated a CSU T-shirt he wore on the International Space Station to the university.
During his May 24 campus visit, Lindgren also presented CSU President Tony Frank with a Rams belt buckle that he carried to low Earth orbit.
“I was given the CSU belt buckle as a gift from the President’s Office before my flight,” said Lindgren. “I thought it would be fun to take it to the space station with me and bring it back to CSU.”
Lindgren, who earned a master’s degree in cardiovascular physiology from Colorado State in 1996, served as a flight engineer on the International Space Station for six months in 2015. He was part of a study on the effects of space radiation conducted by Susan Bailey, a professor in CSU’s Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences.
Return to CSU
Bailey accompanied Lindgren during his recent campus visit, his first since delivering a public lecture at CSU in March 2016. Lindgren met with Frank to present the CSU belt buckle and took a tour of Canvas Stadium. He also paid a visit to the B&B Pickle Barrel for one of his favorite sandwiches, the Chicken Philly.
Lindgren presented the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences communication team with the CSU T-shirt he wore on the space station, as well as a Colorado flag he took to space.
With the space-traveling CSU belt buckle are Bailey, Lindgren and Frank.
About a week later, after deciding that CSU’s Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising was the best place to have the gifts preserved for the long term, CVMBS Communications Director Kris Browning-Blas delivered the flag and shirt to the museum, where the shirt will be stored in its own acid-free storage box. The flag, which is attached to a posterboard with images from the mission, and the shirt will be put on display by the Avenir Museum in 2020 as part of the celebration of CSU’s 150th anniversary. The shirt came with a certificate of authenticity from NASA.
According to Lindgren, the shirt hasn’t been washed since the mission. Browning-Blas admitted with a laugh that the first thing she and her colleagues did was sniff it.
“It still has that space smell,” joked Avenir Museum Collections Manager Megan Osborne.
Lindgren has stayed in touch with some of the faculty he had while a student at CSU, and even called one of his mentors, C.W. Miller of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, from the space station.
Lindgren currently serves as deputy chief of the Flight Integration Division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, supporting astronauts who are training or currently flying on the ISS. He is hopeful that he will get to make another spaceflight in the future.