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Disney's Buzz Lightyear Travels to the International Space Station Aboard STS-124

Status Report From: NASA Education Office
Posted: Monday, June 2, 2008

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Buzz Lightyear, the Disney / Pixar character that made famous the movie line "To infinity, and beyond!" has been assigned a new mission on the International Space Station. The space ranger from the "Toy Story" movies is joining the crew of the STS-124 space shuttle mission.

The STS-124 space shuttle mission will deliver the next piece of the Japanese "Kibo" laboratory to the station. Kibo is about the size of a large tour bus and will be the station's largest laboratory. It will feature 10 experiment racks where astronauts will conduct microgravity research that will focus on space medicine, biology, Earth observations, material production, biotechnology and communications research. In celebration of Buzz's flight, Disney Parks partnered with NASA to create five interactive games with educational activities and special messages from Buzz Lightyear. These will be added to the NASA Kids' Club Web site throughout the mission. The games are:

  • Load the Shuttle - Kids use mathematics and problem-solving to load the space shuttle payload bay with parts and supplies for the International Space Station. Students have to consider weight and space available to solve the challenge.
  • Mission Matchup - Players match the name of the country with that country's contribution to spaceflight and technology. As the matches are found, an image of the completed International Space Station is revealed.
  • I Spy - Everyday objects such as a football helmet, sunglasses and even an ice cream cone are hidden on a space station. All the hidden objects are spin-offs of NASA-developed technology.
  • Connect It - Players predict how to use the space shuttle's robotic arm to move and attach the new Japanese module "Kibo" to the International Space Station.
  • Toys in Space - Players fly Buzz Lightyear around a space station and land him on a variety of toys to reveal videos of astronauts playing with the toys in space. Toys in the game include a yo-yo, a soccer ball, a jump rope and a car on a track.

Buzz Lightyear will stay on the station with the Expedition 17 crew for approximately five months. He is scheduled to fly home with the crew of the STS-126 shuttle mission, targeted for November 2008. These missions are an important step in preparing for the future of spaceflight. NASA is currently working to carry out a long-term plan that will lead to humans' returning to the moon and beyond.

Follow along by visiting the NASA Kids' Club site throughout the STS-124 mission to read Buzz's Mission Logs, download the activity guides, and play the interactive games. Mission log updates will be posted as the mission progresses. To visit the NASA Kids' Club, go to http://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub.

To learn more about the STS-124 space shuttle mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/sts-124-main.html.

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