St Neots man awarded flag from space

A ST NEOTS father-of-two has been given a rare honour by NASA – a flag that orbited around the Earth in a space shuttle. Lester Waugh, 54, of Barringer Way, was presented with the flag by NASA senior scientist, Dr Everett Gibson, in appreciation for his w

A ST NEOTS father-of-two has been given a rare honour by NASA - a flag that orbited around the Earth in a space shuttle.

Lester Waugh, 54, of Barringer Way, was presented with the flag by NASA senior scientist, Dr Everett Gibson, in appreciation for his work.

Mr Waugh has been a systems engineer for 20 years and has developed space systems for lunar exploration and helped with the search for water on the moon.

The New Zealand flag was flown aboard the Discovery space shuttle during an exploration mission to deliver a module to the international space station in May last year.


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It has travelled more than five million miles in 216 orbits around the planet.

Mr Waugh's wife, Gaynor, said her husband was "bowled over" by the award.

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She told The Hunts Post: "He brought it home to show us and we are all so proud of him."

Mr Waugh, works for Europe's largest space company, Astrium in Stevenage, and was born in New Zealand. He moved to St Neots in 1997, where he now lives with his wife and their two children, aged eight and 11.

He was part of the UK-led Beagle 2 team, founded by Professor Colin Pillinger that tried to land a space craft on Mars.

In an e-mail to The Hunts Post, Mr Waugh who is away on business in America, said: "It's a very rare honour to have anything that has been returned from space. I am really thrilled.

"I'm fortunate to work at Astrium where we are exposed to some of the most challenging space work in the world, building spacecraft, landers and rover for telecommunications and science missions to other planets. The award will take pride of place in my study, though I may make a small copy to keep on my desk at work.

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