Buzz Lightyear's Dream Come True
The Disney/Pixar character that made famous the movie line, "To infinity, and beyond," has been assigned a new mission. Buzz Lightyear is flying to the International Space Station.
A 12-inch action figure of the space ranger from the "Toy Story" movies is joining the crew of the STS-124 space shuttle mission, targeted to launch May 31, 2008. The mission is making Buzz Lightyear's dream of spaceflight come true as part of Disney Parks' "Year of a Million Dreams."
The STS-124 mission is also a dream come true for NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The space shuttle Discovery is taking the next piece of the Japanese "Kibo" laboratory to the International Space Station, bringing the orbiting laboratory that much closer to being completed.
The completed Kibo system consists of several modules that are being launched aboard three space shuttle flights in 2008 and 2009. STS-124 is taking to the station the Kibo Pressurized Module, which is a laboratory where astronauts will conduct scientific research.
This section of 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.
The STS-124 mission coincides with the opening of a new attraction at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Inspired by the "Toy Story" movies, the 4-D, interactive experience called Toy Story Mania! opens this summer.
In celebration of Buzz's spaceflight and of the STS-124 mission to deliver the next piece of the Kibo laboratory to the station, Disney Parks partnered with NASA to create interactive games, educational worksheets and special messages from Buzz Lightyear. This partnership supports NASA's goal of attracting and retaining students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The games, activities and messages from Buzz will be added to the NASA Kids' Club area throughout the mission.
The games are:
Load the Shuttle
Kids use mathematics and problem-solving to load the space shuttle cargo bay with parts and supplies for the International Space Station. Students have to consider weight and space available to solve the challenge.
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.
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.
Players predict how to use the robotic arm to move and attach the space station’s new Japanese module “Kibo” to the International Space Station.
Toys in Space
Players fly Buzz Lightyear around a space station, land him on toys, and see videos of astronauts playing with 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 six months. He is scheduled to fly home with the crew of the STS-126 shuttle mission, targeted for November 2008.
Buzz Lightyear To Infinity and Beyond! Games
NASA Kids' Club
Heather R. Smith/NASA Educational Technology Services