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Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut, Team USA 2013
The DLN and Mission X NASA team, including astronaut Mike Barratt

The DLN and Mission X NASA team, including astronaut Mike Barratt (center), celebrate the closing event with Team USA. Credit: NASA

Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut is an international health and fitness challenge that encourages students to live a healthier lifestyle by using the excitement of space exploration. This year, more than 15,000 students participated in Mission X, representing 22 countries and four additional observing countries. The 18 physical and educational activities and the Mission X website are in 15 different languages. Physical activities are modeled after real-life training astronauts do to prepare for exploring space, and hands-on science activities relate the needs of their own bodies on Earth to the needs of an astronaut in space. Mission X is partnered with seven space agencies and many other institutions worldwide, reaching both children and individuals with unique needs. Mission X is part of NASA’s Human Research Program Education and Outreach.

Team USA 2013 consisted of 1,500 students in 27 teams, representing five states across the country, as well as Puerto Rico. The culmination of their accomplishments was celebrated in two separate but identical virtual closing events on March 21 and 22, hosted by JSC’s Digital Learning Network. More than 600 students, teachers and parents joined the events, making both a big success. Participants included teams from Jamestown, N.Y.; Naperville, Ill.; Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico; Sharon, Mass.; and Houston. The Sharon, Mass., team also invited several dignitaries to celebrate their local event, including Joseph Patrick “Joe” Kennedy III (U.S. representative for Massachusetts’ fourth congressional district); Brian A. Joyce (Massachusetts state senator); James E. Timilty (Massachusetts state senator); Elizabeth Poirier (Massachusetts House of Representatives and current third assistant House minority leader); and Rep. Louis Kafka (Massachusetts State House).

For more information please visit: http://www.trainlikeanastronaut.org or http://go.nasa.gov/spacefit.