This Lunar astronaut art is going up in the final space shuttle flight

There's something almost unbearably sad and touching about this bright piece of art, depicting astronauts on the Moon. It's going to be included on the very last space shuttle flight, the end of the space program that gave us Apollo.

The acrylic painting, which won an art contest, is the work of 14-year-old Lake Orion, MI student Justin Pavliscak. Pavliscak described his work thusly:

It's an astronaut that's standing on the moon with a flag kind of representing when they put the flag on the moon... Someone came and picked it up from school. It had to be weighed with NASA because of all of the specifications and things like that.

The flag on the Moon sports the letters "LO," for Lake Orion. Pavliscak, who won the Donte Curry Attitude Award in 2005 for his positive attitude, spent a lot of time getting the shadows, highlights and reflections in the astronaut's helmet right. Shuttle crew member Andrew Feustal, who also went to school in Lake Orion, will bring the artwork with him.

Here's a news report about the painting and its impending trip into space: