Col. Pamela Melroy gave this scrunchie to the Museum after she had used it as a Space Shuttle pilot astronaut on missions to the International Space Station in 2000 and 2002. A scrunchie - like clips, barettes, or rubber bands - keeps hair tidy and under control. According to NASA policy, while they are in space astronauts should confine long hair in a ponytail, braids, or other manner to keep it from floating free and becoming tangled in equipment or posing a nuisance. This guideline has affected only the women astronauts, as no male astronauts have had long hair. The scrunchie is thus an emblem of small but noticeable changes that occurred when women entered the workplace in space.
Pamela Melroy donated this hair accessory to the Museum in 2004.