Piece of tragic shuttle history gets a second chance at space travel

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HOUSTON — A soccer ball that was inside the Space Shuttle Challenger when it exploded in 1986 is now in space.

During the recovery of the Challenger, a few things survived. One of the items was a soccer ball carried by one of the astronauts and signed by the players form Clear Lake High School in Houston. After it was recovered, it was donated to the high school and has been on display.

Astronaut Shane Kimbrough, whose daughter now attends that same high school, asked if the school would like to send anything into orbit. The soccer ball received a second chance at space flight.  Kimbrough launched to the space station in October and just last week posted a photo of the ball in space.

When the ball returns from space, it will go back to Clear Lake High School for a permanent display.