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Aloha from NASA

Mission Control in Houston celebrates Ed Lu's 40th birthday
Mission Control in Houston celebrates Ed Lu's 40th birthday
As part of a birthday surprise for Expedition 7 Astronaut Ed Lu, Johnson Space Center (JSC) Director Jefferson D. Howell, Jr. proclaimed July 1 as “Aloha Shirt Day” and encouraged employees to wear an aloha shirt to work. Pictures of JSC employees wearing aloha shirts were taken by JSC photographers and sent to the Expedition 7 crewmembers to show them our support. The mission support staff took time to honor Ed Lu on his 40th birthday while continuing to focus on their tasks for International Space Station. Lu is currently living and working onboard the ISS as the Expedition 7 NASA ISS Science Officer along with Expedition 7 Commander Yuri Malenchenko.

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JSC Director Lt. Gen. Jefferson Howell, Jr. (right) joins in the birthday festivities
Lu celebrated his birthday July 1 while orbiting 240 miles above the Earth. “I can’t think of a better place to be on my 40th birthday,” Lu said. “ I appreciate everyone getting with the spirit and wearing your Hawaiian shirts.”

Well-wishers throughout the day included NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, Lu's entire family in California, his fiancée, the Mission Control centers (MCC) in Houston and Moscow, NASA Headquarters in Washington, White Sands Test Facility, Marshall Space Flight Center and friends of Lu at JSC. MCC Houston celebrated with a hula dancer birthday cake complete with palm trees and sand. A surfboard was also spotted in the crowd – a first for MCC.

“Happy Birthday to you. We are delighted that you have drawn that much attention, Ed. You do a fantastic job,” O’Keefe said.

Lu considers Honolulu his hometown and has a great fondness for Hawaiian aloha shirts, frequently wearing one on orbit. Lu and Malenchenko have been seen sporting their new aloha shirts that arrived earlier this month on a Russian resupply vehicle as a gift from their support team in Houston.

On June 30 during a videoconference with Expedition 7, Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle honored Lu by proclaiming July 1 as “Edward Tsang Lu Day” in Hawaii.

John Ira Petty
Johnson Space Center

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Updated: 07/07/2003