Out-of-this-world Flags

Digitally-produced flags line the International Space Station wall.

Big Picture

Graphics installed on the tallest skyscraper might as well be sitting on the ground when compared to the digitally produced flags that were recently installed on the International Space Station (ISS). Last October, the space shuttle took off with a full payload, including the European-built Harmony module to be installed on the ISS. Proud that the module was built in Italy, the Italian Space Agency ALTEC ordered four banners to accompany the Harmony module.

Bay Area Imaging, located in Webster, Texas in close proximity to NASA and Johnson Space Center, imaged the four 12 x 30-in.flags onto 3P’s Country Cotton FR using its HP Designjet 5000 with pigmented UV inks. "NASA was very specific about the type of fabric allowed on the shuttle and eventually approved 3P’s Country Cotton FR," says Walter Bernard, owner of Bay Area Imaging. After printing, the company added a half-inch taped seam around the perimeter and applied Velcro (supplied by ALTEC) with double-sided banner tape, per client instructions.

Bay Area Imaging does a variety of large-format photo and graphic output for NASA and its supporting contractors. "We are a NASA-approved facility to produce scans and prints from negative and transparency film from their archives (temporarily loaned to us) for clients around the world," says Bernard.


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