The payload bay of the space shuttle Discovery will include a 2-pound book with 16,000 signatures the names of the entire Kennedy Space Center work force when it goes into orbit.

"This is a great idea," said space center director Forrest McCartney, who was the first to sign the book Thursday. "If you think enough of something to sign your name on it, you think enough of it to make it go."Credit for the idea goes to John Archibald, a management systems analyst with Lockheed Space Operations Co., primary shuttle contractor at Kennedy.

"I went over to see the astronauts when they were here, and (Discovery commander) Rick Hauck mentioned that he wished we could all be with them," Archibald, 41, said this week. "And I thought, well, we can't go physically, but the next most personal thing anybody has is their signature," he said.