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About Train Like An Astronaut
October 5, 2011

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be an astronaut?

NASA has an engaging new program that brings the excitement of space exploration to kids learning to live a healthy lifestyle! In partnership with the White House Let's Move! initiative, NASA's Train Like an Astronaut program aims to increase opportunities both in and out of school for kids to become more physically and mentally active. This program uses the excitement of space exploration and astronaut training to challenge, inspire, and educate kids to set physical fitness goals and to practice physical fitness and proper nutrition. Kids will explore mission challenges, learn the science behind nutrition, and learn to train like an astronaut!

Train Like an Astronaut physical activities are modeled after the real-life training that astronauts do to prepare for exploring space. Kids will experience hands-on science that relates the needs of our bodies on Earth to the needs of an astronaut in space.The activities used in the Train Like an Astronaut program were developed in cooperation with NASA scientists and fitness professionals who work directly with astronauts. Although designed for 8-12 year olds, this program is for anyone and everyone who is curious about space exploration and what it takes to be an astronaut.

› Download the flier (1.8 MB PDF)


Active Families

Make family time, active time! Set goals and work together as a family team to train like an astronaut and learn to live a healthy lifestyle. How does this work for my family? Decide as a family which activities you will do, for how long, and how often. Write down your schedule and make family goals. Once you've made a plan, watch the videos and follow the activity guides to learn the proper techniques, procedures and ways the activities are like real astronauts training for a mission. Want to challenge your kids? Use the points rubric and challenge every member in your family to try to earn the most points. A little friendly competition can be fun!



Active Schools

Challenge students to train like astronauts. Connect the science classroom to physical education while learning about living a healthy lifestyle, the science of physical fitness and nutrition, and the excitement of space exploration.How does this work in my classroom? Download the physical and educational activities and complement your learning plan while meeting National Education Standards. Watch the videos for a step-by-step guide on the activities and how they relate to the human body in space. Prepare the students to take on mission assignments by setting goals and creating Mission Journals. Want to take it a step further? Feeling competitive? Create a challenge between classrooms and compete for points!


Active Communities

Bring fun, fitness and nutrition to your neighborhood. Bring the excitement of space exploration to after-school programs and extracurricular programs. How does this work in my community? Visit the website and choose activities that will fit with your existing program. Consider what can be accomplished in the location and time period available. Have your instructors follow the activity guides and view the videos to prepare for teaching the community. Make a plan, get the word out and watch the kids get excited and have fun learning about space exploration! Want to involve more of the community? Consider creating a fitness and nutrition day with local partners that care about the health of your community!


Science Activities

Student Handouts
NASA's Train Like an Astronaut program includes hands-on science activities designed to help students understand how physical activity and nutrition affect the human body on Earth and in space. These activities are based on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts and are correlated to the National Education Standards. The Student Handout contains step-by-step instructions for following the scientific method as kids investigate the importance of hydration, maintaining bone health, how calories are converted into energy, formulating a balanced meal, and more.

Instructor Guides

The Instructor Guides provide the information needed to lead each activity. A NASA background is provided so instructors can understand how the activity relates to space exploration. Each guide also provides information and hints on explaining the activities to the kids and how to work towards content objectives. Monitoring and assessment questions, material lists, preparation instructions, NASA vocabulary, safety guidelines, and additional resources are also included. Information on the NASA scientists and engineers that helped create each of the activities is available too!

Physical Activities

Mission Handouts
NASA's Train Like an Astronaut program includes a variety of physical activities called "Missions". The Mission Handouts contain instructions for kids to complete their "mission assignment". These missions involve physical activities that use the same muscles and body systems as NASA astronauts do when they train for space exploration. Just like NASA astronauts, kids will practice muscle endurance, hand-eye coordination, heart and lung endurance, balance, spatial awareness, aerobic and anaerobic activity, communication and more. They will learn how these things are important to keep themselves and astronauts fit and healthy.

Learning Resources

The Train Like an Astronaut activities each have a video with step-by-step procedures for the instructor. NASA astronauts joined in the adventure by explaining how each activity relates to their experiences in training for space exploration.

Points Rubric
The Points Rubric is for tracking kids' progress. Use the rubric to challenge each team to train hard and get a high score. The scores are based on combined activity completion, fitness accelerations, space application, teamwork, and of course fun!

Mission Journal
The Mission Journal, or mission notebook is for collecting data and keeping activity progress, documenting research, and learning reflections. Although not required to complete the program, they are a great tool to keep kids motivated.


Q: How can I register for the Train Like an Astronaut program?

A: No registration necessary! Everything you need is available to anyone on the website.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: This program is provided to you by NASA and is absolutely free! All content is available for download on the website. The only thing you may need to purchase is education activity materials.

Q: How long does it take to complete the Train Like an Astronaut program?

A: Train Like an Astronaut is a flexible program. How long it takes to complete, depends on how you use it! Activities can be completed as individual lessons or a challenge.

Q: Is adult supervision required to run this program?

A: We recommend that each of the activities be led by an adult. This helps to ensure that all safety precautions are followed correctly. We also look to the adult to help keep the excitement of space exploration at the forefront of these activities. Instructor guides are available on the website.

Q: What language is Train Like an Astronaut program available in?

A: All Train Like an Astronaut activities are currently available in both English and Spanish.

Q: Are there other opportunities beyond Train Like an Astronaut?

A: If participants would like to take the next step in the Train Like an Astronaut program, consider becoming a part of the Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut Challenge. Mission X is an international challenge for kids worldwide that are training like astronauts! Visit the website for information on registration, challenge dates, and participating countries. Learn more about the Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut Challenge at www.trainlikeanastronaut.org.

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Page Last Updated: July 21st, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator