They became astronauts together and attended each other’s weddings. Now, they head to space. Meet Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley

The astronauts kept the flag a secret until launch day in July 2011 — an 8-by-12-inch stars and stripes banner that would carry with it the significance of America’s 30 years in space during the shuttle program.

The flag flew on the very first shuttle mission in 1981 and on the very last three decades later. Astronaut Doug Hurley was there when the crew of the 135th and final shuttle flight carried it with them to leave on the International Space Station, only to be retrieved when America again returned to human spaceflight. Read more here.