Treacherous Trek To Deliver Aid

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 

Save the Children's Reporting Coordinator in Pakistan

Image003 The worst-affected areas of Swat are in the northern parts of the valley. For the past week, nine members of the Save the Children team have been distributing the food rations that have been delivered by helicopter by the World Food Programme. Myself and the senior programme manager decided that we should travel over to Kalam to assist the team and help document and monitor the food distribution. The only issue is that there are no helicopters available to transport aid workers, which meant if we wanted to get there, we would have to trek 50 kilometers to do so.  

We set off at 6:30am from Fateh Pur, a town 15 kilometers outside Saidu Sharif. From there the only road to Kalam had collapsed.   

We reached the first town, Adyan, after crossing two hills. The entire shape of the city had changed – the floods created a river that went straight through the middle of town, completely destroying the main market. Mud and dust was everywhere, as were huge boulders that the flood had carried right into town. A lot of people had already left and moved to the southern areas of Swat, but there were still some people remaining, trying to protect their homes and property. From Adyan we crossed a temporary bridge – two planks of wood – with the river 10 feet below us, flowing rapidly. When we had crossed the bridge, we saw that the road had collapsed and was 50 meters below where it used to be. So on one side of us was 20-30 meters of mountain face and on the other side was the river. We were forced to walk with the river water up to our knees, hanging on to the rock face. The water was ice cold.   
Aug 16 wading

 Flooding in the district of Muzzafargarh
Photo Courtesy Jason Tanner

We finally reached a city, Bahrain, which used to be a big tourist destination with lots of hotels, restaurants, and beautiful river side cafes. I was there five years ago on holiday with  my family. The city is now unrecognizable. It is like something has taken a huge pile of rocks and mud and thrown in all over the city. The main bazaar is completely destroyed. Three story hotels have tumbled down and the main road through the town was covered in 5 feet of mud. Small shops and stalls are covered in mud and dust and rocks. Several of the main bridges that people used to commute from one side of the city to the other have been destroyed – some without any remnants at all. But what was most amazing was that the river had completely changed course and was now running 20-30 meters further west from where it was.   

We walked along the old river bed out of the city and into the mountains. From there, cars took us along a small stretch of road – about 8 kilometers, to where the road ended. We were then forced to climb a couple of mountains on our right and walk through dense jungle with no sunlight. The only way to get through is via tight lanes and water canals used for irrigation. We walked through a number of mountainous villages and small farms. The majority of the people living here haven't moved. They are uphill from the river – but have been completely cut off from the rest of the world. Their livelihoods have been totally disrupted – there is no way they can sell their crops at the market.   

Moving on, we walked for 6 kilometers in the mountains before we reached Toorwal, where for three hours we had small stretches of road interrupted by mountain – the road had been washed away by the flood water.   

We came across a number of villages that had once been next to the river and had been completely destroyed. We met lots of people coming and going – some people, like us, traveling north with food rations. We met children who had 20 kilos of food on their backs for their families. We also met villagers who’d had homes destroyed, heading south in search of help. To reach Mankyal, we had to cross a 20-meter gap between the road and mountain. The bridge was a small tree trunk that the villagers had placed there to get over the river. This was very precarious and had a torrent of raging water running just under it. We had to crawl along. There was a line of people queuing up to get across.   
Aug 16 boat

Families hitch a ride on a boat fleeing rising floodwater near the town of Baseera in the district of Muzzafargarh. Flood waters continued to cause havoc in South Punjab.
Photo Courtesy Jason Tanner

We thought we were nearly there but found the road was destroyed again. We had to climb another two mountains, one of which was over 8,000 feet high, on a very narrow and steep track. We met locals also going to Kalam who said there were cars going the last few kilometers. We were lucky because they had just started operating. We crossed a few more villages, farmland and jungle. Everyone we met was asking if we were bringing aid with us. We met two young brothers, aged just 5 and 9, who told us about their experience. They had lost everything – their clothes, books, even their precious football — so I gave one of my shirts to them.   

We then climbed down to where the road took us to Kalam. We had been walking for almost 12 hours – and we didn't want to miss the jeeps driving to Kalam – which was another 17 kilometers. I couldn’t feel my feet, my back hurt and I had no more strength.  We were so thankful when we saw the Jeeps parked a few kilometers further down. By the time we got there, we realized they were actually waiting for the "two crazy outsiders" who were risking their lives coming here to help. It was nearing dusk and it had just starting to rain. Thankfully it hadn't rained during our walk as there was always the fear of landslides and slipping.   

 A family takes refuge from flood waters on a mound in Sukkur
Reuters/ Akhtar Somroo, courtesy

The Jeep ride was about another hour – we had to go over more canals and broken roads – only just accessible by 4×4. Five years ago when I came to this area, there were hotels and restaurants, and people from all over Pakistan were here on holiday. I can remember so vividly all the lights and noise everywhere. When we arrived, it was as if it was a ghost town, completely pitch black. I couldn’t believe it was Kalam.   

We met the team at 8.30 pm – so glad we had got here. 

In Kalam, 90 percent of the main market, which provides a livelihood for so many people, was completely destroyed. It was unrecognizable. It looked like it might have 100 years ago: no cars – they had all washed away — no clean water supply, which was previously run by an electric pumping station, now destroyed. The only means of getting across the river is by climbing into a cage that is then hoisted across the water using a pulley/rope system, one person at a time.   

There is very little food here. The only way to get food in is by helicopter, and the major problem is that helicopters can’t come in when it's raining. It’s monsoon season so rain is almost continuous. Because of the bad weather, they couldn't fly in today. We had planned for food distribution on a daily basis, but we can't do anything if it rains. So far we have managed about two to three food distributions a week – far less than we had hoped. Save the Children is the only humanitarian organization working out here.


Learn more about our emergency response to the flooding in Pakistan

Help Us Respond to the Pakistan Flood Emergency. Please Donate Now.

Sajjad’s New Home

Friday, August 13, 2010 

Save the Children's Reporting Coordinator in Pakistan

Sajjad desk  Sajjad, 14, lives in the suburb of Jail in the city of Bahrain, Swat. Jail is an urban locality of more than 50 households and lies on the banks of the River Swat. Besides residential houses, it is full of commercial plazas, restaurants, hotels and guesthouses catering to tourists from all over Pakistan. Sajjad is the eldest of five siblings and studies in Class 7 at Swat Education Complex, a private school in Bahrain.   

Sajjad's father works as a school teacher and owns an apple farm near River Swat. He wishes Sajjad to excel in his education and study in a university.  

A year ago, Sajjad’s family faced great hardship when they were displaced from their homes by the conflict between the Pakistan army and the Taliban in Swat. Sajjad’s father could not earn a single rupee for months since schools were closed and the apple farm stagnated in his absence. However, they had quickly rejuvenated their lives after the conflict ceased.  

On Wednesday, July 28, 2010, unprecedented monsoon rains caused flash floods in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Swat. Areas bordering the River Swat were hit with vast torrents of floodwaters, causing widespread destruction of life and property. Bahrain was one of the worst affected cities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – entire streets and hamlets were washed away within 24 hours. The suburb of Jail was terribly devastated by the watery onslaught.  

Sajjad signing up  “It had been raining for two days when we were told that Jail was surrounded by water,” recounted Sajjad. “Our neighbors were hastily running uphill. We collected all our precious goods and moved into an uncle’s house in a safer area of Bahrain. Later that day we found that our house had been destroyed by the flooded river.”  

The next morning, Sajjad’s father was shocked to see his entire apple farm ruined by murky floodwater. Since then, he has fallen ill and remains depressed throughout the day.   

Sajjad said he lost all his books, clothes and playing equipment. With the efforts of notable community members, food rations are being distributed in Bahrain but they are not enough for Sajjad and his host uncle’s families. 

“I do not know when we will ever have a place of our own,” said Sajjad.  

Save the Children began assisting flood survivors immediately after the rains ceased in Swat. Separate teams assessed damage and identified the neediest families in the worst-affected areas including Bahrain. Save the Children first selected families who had lost their homes to receive tents with bamboo and a shelter kit for setting up temporary housing structures. Since they had lost their home, Sajjad’s family received shelter support.   

Sajjad bucket  Accompanied by his uncle, Sajjad traveled for five hours to reach Save the Children’s distribution center. They were among the first in line to receive the promised tent, bamboo, buckets, water containers and other shelter items. His family was eagerly awaiting his return knowing that they could then move into their own space and begin rebuilding their lives.  

An excited Sajjad said, “I know these things will not replace my home but at least it will be my family’s first step toward a new home.”          

Learn more about our emergency response to the flooding in Pakistan

Help Us Respond to the Pakistan Flood Emergency. Please Donate Now.

New Hope for Qamar

Thursday, August 12, 2010 

Save the Children's Reporting Coordinator in Pakistan

QamarQamar, 13, lives in the village of Girlagan in UC Bahrain, Swat. Girlagan has 200 households and is situated on the banks of River Swat near the city of Bahrain, a famous tourist destination in Pakistan. Qamar has four brothers and three younger sisters and they all attend public government schools in Girlagan. Qamar is studying in Class 6 and loves to play cricket.  

Qamar’s father is unemployed but his eldest brother runs a small shop in Quetta city to support the family. They live in a small two-room mud house reinforced with wooden beams since they cannot afford to build a brick and steel structure.   On Wednesday, July 28, 2010, unprecedented monsoon rains caused flash floods in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Swat. Areas bordering the River Swat were hit with vast torrents of the flood waters, causing widespread destruction of life and property. Due to its location, the village of Girlagan and the surrounding areas of Bahrain city were one of the worst hit areas in Swat.  

“Water started entering my home in the afternoon,” remembers Qamar. “People were saying that we should leave since the river would destroy everything in its path.” 

In the next few hours, Qamar’s family gathered their precious items and ran to a neighbor’s house uphill. At midnight, the River Swat roared into Girlagan and destroyed the entire street where Qamar’s house was located. Since then, they have been living in a generous neighbor’s house but were still barely making ends meet. Their few savings have been depleted on purchasing expensive food items from the bazaar in nearby Bahrain city.  GIRLAGAY

“My mother bundled up our clothes but we lost all our household items,” says Qamar. “Because I was taking care of my younger brothers and sisters, I was only able to grab my schoolbag. My entire collection of storybooks and cricket bats washed away in the flood.” 

Qamar’s father says that two days after his house was destroyed, a relief agency accompanied by government officials came to Girlagan and asked them several questions. They promised to deliver emergency aid through helicopters. However, no relief has been provided to the survivors of Girlagan yet.  

A few days ago, Save the Children’s teams assessed damages and identified the neediest families in UC Bahrain and UC Mankyal in Swat for distribution of tents with bamboo and a shelter kit for setting up temporary housing structures. Since they had lost their home, Qamar’s family was immediately selected to receive shelter support.  

Qamar“The day before yesterday, I met Save the Children team,” says Qamar’s father. “I answered all their questions but was ambivalent about their promise to provide temporary housing material. 

“We left Girlagay yesterday and walked for four hours to reach Fatehpur,” he adds. “We arrived here early this morning and were surprised to find tents and bamboos being distributed to those who had been selected in Girlagan and other villages of UC Bahrain.” 

After checking their national identity cards, Save the Children handed over shelter items to Qamar and his father and also provided a small amount of cash to assist them in transport of the materials. 

“Thank God that we can make our own temporary house now,” Qamar’s father says. “This is a blessing for my family.” 

These are the first relief items that Qamar’s family has received. 

Says Qamar: “I am now hopeful that we can rebuild our home and continue our lives as before.”


Learn more about our emergency response to the flooding in Pakistan

Help Us Respond to the Pakistan Flood Emergency. Please Donate Now

Landslides and Mule Chains

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 

Save the Children's Reporting Coordinator in Pakistan

With floodwaters causing havoc down south in Sindh and continuous showers falling in different parts of the country, the current floods in Pakistan are the worst natural disaster in the country's history.  With entire districts submerged and fear of more flooding from rains in Afghanistan, our work in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is rapidly gaining pace.

In spite of continuous rain, high altitudes and the raging river Indus, Save the Children’s emergency medical team in Allai crossed the Indus River by a hanging trolley. A chain of mules were used for transporting medical supplies to the affected area. Like islands in the vast flooded areas of Dera Ismail Khan, Save the Children’s mobile health teams are providing medical aid to people trapped in their villages and towns. Another team trekked for two days to reach the devastated city of Kalam in Swat, where they have provided 27 metric tons of food (supplied by WFP) to 316 families.    

Landslide on Malakand Mountains

After a two day respite in Islamabad, I braved the heavy downpour on my way back to Swat through the mountains of Malakand. Small rocks and sand cluttered the mountainous road until we reached a point where the army’s engineers stopped all traffic. A huge rock was splintering due to the rain, and the entire mountainside was about to collapse. We were stalled until late in the evening — trapped in the dark blue dusk, nearly 200 feet above the valley floor, shrouded in clouds. The rock eventually tumbled down, along with a large chunk of the mountain. A one-way road was carved into the rubble after four hours of incessant shoveling by bulldozers. See a video of the landslide below.

Beautiful Shangla

Yesterday, I visited Swat’s neighboring district of Shangla to assess flood damage. The entire district is a pastel of lush green mountains and valleys, glistening with white rooftops and fresh natural springs gushing into villages and towns. Meetings with government officials and army officers revealed that the entire valley of Shahpur, population of more than 250,000 people, is severely affected and cut off from the rest of Shangla. Nearly 70,000 extremely vulnerable people, with no belongings or stable sources of income, are awaiting assistance in Shahpur. Some 270 houses, seven bridges, two hospitals and four schools have been destroyed, whereas thousands of people have lost their farms, livestock and businesses. Unfortunately, no humanitarian aid has reached the affected people yet. There is only a committee of civil authorities, armed forces and community notables using a chain of 50 mules to transport basic food rations to 1,400 families in the 35-kilometer stretch of the valley.    

In this week, we will hopefully provide 1,000 families with tents and shelter kits to make temporary houses as well as 1,500 people with food rations in the distant areas of Upper Swat. We fear more rains, flooding and landslides, but our resolve to assist children
and families remains undeterred.


Learn more about our emergency response to the flooding in Pakistan

Help Us Respond to the Pakistan Flood Emergency. Please Donate Now.

Living Under the Pakistan Open Sky in the Rain

Monday, August 9, 2010 

Save the Children's Reporting Coordinator in Pakistan

Hussain, age 65, is from a small village in southern Punjab. He has lost all his belongings and now lives under the open sky without shelter. He has lost hope.

“We were sitting on a high patch of ground expecting that we would not be touched by flood waters. Suddenly, we saw that the water was gradually rising so I decided to take my family and animals to a safer place,” said Hussain.

“I did not get a chance to pick up any other belongings. The flood waters swept away all our food, clothes, utensils and other household items.”


“Along with my family, I walked five hours to the railroad station, which is on high ground. For three days no one provided us food. We don’t have clothes to replace the ones we are wearing. Due to continuous rain, all our clothes are wet,” said Hussain, his eyes welling up with tears.

Now, as he sits on the ground, under the open sky in the rain, he expects some miracle to happen so that he can to return to a normal life.


Learn more about our emergency response to the flooding in Pakistan
Help Us Respond to the Pakistan Flood Emergency. Please Donate Now.

Relief Workers Battle Mother Nature to Deliver Aid to Pakistani Flood Victims

Thursday, August 5, 2010 

Save the Children's Coordinator in Pakistan Reports

Rains have continued to fall in Pakistan, not only in the upper river catchment areas, but also in the central parts of the country. Rivers are swelling and bursting their banks. In order to safeguard an irrigation barrage, dikes were deliberately breached in order to reduce the flow of water. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to leave their dwellings and take refuge on embankments or roof tops.


With the monsoon season continuing into mid-September, the misery of millions of people across Pakistan will not abate for the foreseeable future. Aid agencies like Save the Children are working hard to try and reach thousands of women and children in remote areas. 


Teams in the north of the country have trekked through the mountains to deliver food, medicines and water to isolated communities. In Southern Punjab, small dugout boats will be used to deliver lifesaving assistance to vulnerable families whose homes have been washed away


Tell Us What You Would Like To Know!

Jill stetsonMonday, August 2, 2010

Jill Stetson, Save the Children, quality manager/ supervisor

Westport, CT

Were you one of the hundreds of people who contacted Save the Children today? 

Did you get the answer you wanted?  I hope so, because you may have spoken with me!   

I work in Save the Children’s response center at our headquarters in Westport, Connecticut. 

Your questions about your sponsorship, or about Save the Children and our global programs, are very important. It’s my job, and that of my colleagues, to make sure we answer your questions and provide the information you need quickly!

We’re always busy in the response center. We answer your questions by phone, email and mail. We’re also responsible for making sure that your account with us is up-to-date and that you are happy with your decision to join Save the Children and help us create lasting change in children’s lives. 

I recently returned from a trip to Ethiopia, where I saw our programs in action. It was exciting to see children in school, learning, playing, laughing and smiling – just being kids! They were extremely smart and excited to be able to ask me questions about my life here in the U.S.

It was an unforgettable experience – and an experience that you as a sponsor can take advantage of, too. 

Just contact us at and we’ll be happy to send you information on visiting your sponsored child if you’re an Individual Child sponsor, or visiting the community you sponsor if you’re a Lifeline or Program sponsor.

SCHOOL_ETHIOPIA I encourage you to use this blog post as an open forum to let us know about your experiences with Save the Children. Whatever you have to say, whether it’s something we’ve done well or need to improve on, we want to hear about it! 

Our goal in the response center is to provide quality customer service. When we serve you well, we’re also taking another step in helping children not only survive, but thrive!

Surveying the Aftermath and Providing Relief to Communities in Upper Swat

August 3, 2010 

Save the Children's Reporting Coordinator in Pakistan

For the past two days, Save the Children teams have been working round the clock to provide immediate relief to the flood-affected communities in Swat Valley, Pakistan. As the water has begun to recede, the sheer scale of this disaster is coming to light. Every time we receive news of the numbers affected, we become more and more committed to respond to this crisis with all our strength and capacity.    

Yesterday, two teams of Save the Children staff ventured in different directions to learn the full extent of the damages and map out accessible routes for provision of shelter kits and food rations. One team crossed over to the western side of River Swat into UC Tirat by sitting inside a small cart pulled through a simple rope-pulley apparatus over a fifty meter drop with raging waters below. They learned that thousands of acres of farmland have been ruined and vast numbers of livestock have been swept away by the flood waters. Food shortages are becoming more acute every day – a single bag of wheat is now being sold for 1,100 rupees (double the usual price).     

Reuters/Faisal Mahmood, courtesy A child lay crying in a hammock after flood victims shifted to camps to take refuge after their homes were destroyed in Nowshera. The worst floods in memory in Pakistan have affected more than 3 million people so far and claimed the lives of more than 1,400 people.
Reuters/Faisal Mahmood, courtesy

The other team reached Madyan and attended a meeting of government officials, army and community influentials to discuss the emergency response. The market in Madyan now only has a few days stock of rice, cooking oil and lentils remaining. Attempts are being made to control the prices and keep them at affordable levels. There are also plans to transport essential food items on mules from UC Fatehpur.    

The team also met people who had been walking from Bahrain for half a day to reach Madyan. They described the worsening situation in the city and the urgent need for food and health care. A few families had walked for two days from Kalam – the farthest most affected city in Upper Swat. They were hosted overnight by strangers in the village of Asreeth. Their stories from Kalam were published in Pakistan’s newspaper today, you can read them here.  

Save the Children began distribution of shelter items to families who have lost their homes in UC Fatehpur. However, heavy rains took place today, stalling the distribution process since the beneficiaries were walking over hills and dirt paths to reach our center. Save the Children been selected as one of the partners with the World Food Program (WFP) to begin food distribution in Swat.   

Reuters/Adrees Latif, courtesy

A family carries relief supplies on train tracks back to their homes after flood waters receded in Nowshera, located in Pakistan' s northwest Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province.
Reuters/Faisal Mahmood, courtesy

I’ve also been speaking non-stop on the phone from 9 a.m. till 9 p.m. with various TV networks and journalists from around the world to report on the situation in Swat. A CNN team was supposed to arrive today but was held back due to bad weather conditions. As they say in Paksitan InshAllah (God willing), the international community will fulfill its obligations for the relief of the flood-affected people in time.  

Assessing Flood Damage in Upper Swat, Pakistan

August 2, 2010 

Save the Children's Reporting Coordinator in Pakistan

I arrived in Saidu Sharif, Swat, last Sunday to conduct a training for local organizations. Just two days later, unprecedented monsoon rains caused widespread destruction here. 

The beautiful tourist areas of Kalam, Bahrain, and Miandam, as well as other parts of Swat, have been severely damaged, with entire villages being swept away. Most villages and even cities have had no electricity for four days, ATMs are offline, and only one cellular network is working. None of the water pumping stations is functioning so nearly everyone is without running water. 

People evacuating from Madyan to safer areas in southern Swat

Families from Madyan, Pakistan, an area hit hard by the floods,
evacuate to safer areas in southern Swat. Taxis and buses (bottom
right) are available to transport people in areas where the roads are
blocked. Photo Credit:  Save the Children

I went with some colleagues to Upper Swat yesterday to help assess the damage.  When we reached Fatehpur, the road suddenly ended in a 100 meter drop off to the River Swat below. It seemed like an entire part of the road, as well as houses, had been scooped out with a gigantic cup. This is the only road leading to Miandam, Bahrain and Kalam, where thousands of residents and tourists from all over Pakistan are stranded. 

We left our car and climbed a small hill and walked through the tight lanes of a village. There were large groups of families coming back from Madyan, warning us of the terrible situation ahead. We were delighted to find children with coolers and buckets full of natural spring water providing free drinks to the travelers crossing their village.

Food Prices Increase with Threat of Stocks Running Low

Entering Madyan city we saw relief camps established by the army. Some men mentioned that nearly all the houses in Chel, Shanko and other villages had been destroyed. We learned that food prices had increased dramatically in the past two days, since new supplies were not reaching the markets. Survivors said they couldn’t afford to purchase enough food for their families, and shopkeepers said they were afraid their stocks might run out in the next three to four days. 

The only health facility in Madyan, along with five primary schools, a high school, and a college have been completely destroyed by the flood. The remains of these buildings are nothing more than a few walls jutting out from the raging waves of the River Swat. 

Our long journey back to our vehicle in Saidu Sharif involved two treks and two bartered rides till we reached the first break in the road where our car was parked. On the last hill, we helped a middle-aged man carrying a large bundle of food supplies, his aged mother, and his blind son, walk through the village and climb down to the road. He had lost all of his livestock in the flood. He was taking his family to a relative’s house, but hoped to return soon to salvage whatever was left of his home.  

Large Road Crevasse Strands Motorists Overnight  

Near Fizaghat, where we stopped in the morning, there was a never ending line of cars. We learned that a small pothole in the road had widened into a large crevasse which was being filled by army trucks. Since it would have taken the entire night to complete the work, we began walking back towards Saidu Sharif.  Using our cell phones to light the pitch black road, we walked for more than an hour to reach Saidu Sharif. I felt strangely relieved to return to the safety and comfort of Save the Children’s office, but was saddened to witness the flood’s devastation, which had displaced so many children and families from their homes.  

For more information on Save the Children’s response to the Pakistan floods, click here

Space Traveling T-Shirt Returned to Save the Children


Dave Hartman, Save the Children, internet marketing and communications specialist

Westport, CT

July 24, 2010

 Save the Children has had a global presence for decades, but this past May the organization ventured into new territory, outer space.

NASA Astronaut Piers Sellers took along a red Save the Children t-shirt on his 12-day mission to the International Space Station.NASA T-shirt

The t-shirt was signed by the crew of Atlantis and then heat-sealed in
plastic and stowed underneath the floorboards before embarking on its
journey to outer space. 

Sellers served as Robotics officer, operating a massive arm that nimbly
moves equipment from a space shuttle's cargo bay onto the space station
or delicately maneuvers astronauts around the craft during space walks.

On Monday Sellers stopped by Save the Children's Washington D.C. office to return the t-shirt and speak to staff and children about his trip.

He also shared a 10-minute video produced by NASA that highlighted the mission and the crew's experience from launch to landing during the 12-day voyage of Atlantis to the International Space Station.

Take a look at this NASA video which shows highlights from Sellers' mission.

The presentation was streamed in real time to our Westport, CT home office.

Sellers said that he has supported Save the Children and has been
interested in the work that the organization does from the time he was
growing up in the United Kingdom.

Before wrapping up his presentation Sellers imparted words of wisdom on the children in the audience, “study hard, whether you want to be an astronaut, a fireman or a doctor. It all starts in school.”

Nasa westport

Fast Facts

  • During launch, the shuttle, with the t-shirt safely secured underneath its floorboards, accelerated from 0 to 5 miles per second in about eight and a half minutes.
  • The t-shirt traveled more than 4.5 million miles, orbiting the earth roughly every 90 minutes for a total of 192 orbits during the 12-day voyage.