Stoke & Staffordshire

Stoke City FC flag to blast into space on supply capsule

Supply capsule and space crew Image copyright Ken Kremer/NASA
Image caption The capsule will deliver crew supplies, equipment and scientific experiments to the International Space Station

A Stoke City FC flag is due to be blasted into orbit later, in a supply ship destined for the International Space Station.

Lifelong Potters fan Andrew Rushton persuaded British astronaut Tim Peake to pack the emblem.

The Orbital Resupply Services Flight is due to leave Florida at 17:55 local time (22:55 GMT).

Three astronauts, including Peake, are due to leave for the space station on 15 December from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Image caption The campaign to "get Stoke in space" ran for about five months

The spacecraft is capable of delivering more than 7,700 lb (about 3,500 kg) of crew supplies, equipment and scientific experiments to the station.

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Because of size and weight restrictions, the Stoke City flag will be a very small facsimile, which Mr Rushton said he was "disappointed" about, but added he was "over the moon" the astronaut had agreed to take a photograph of the pennant in space.

Mr Rushton campaigned via Twitter for five months and BBC Radio Stoke's Breakfast show team helped him get a flag. Mr Rushton received a message from Peake confirming the flag would soon be on its way to the International Space Station.

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