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NASA can add the name "Lightyear" to the mission logo for STS-124 in honor of Disney's fictional toy space ranger making the ultimate real-life trip into the cosmos.
Buzz Lightyear is just one of several notable items the crew of space shuttle Discovery's STS-124 mission is carrying with them to commemorate the voyage to the International Space Station.
One of Lance Armstrong's victory jerseys from the Tour de France bicycling race will tour low Earth orbit during Discovery's voyage.
A football jersey from Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Eli Manning also will ride along.
Keeping with the sporting theme of the commemoratives, the astronauts will also take a microphone stand from sports broadcasting giant ESPN, along with CDs of the "Mike & Mike in the Morning" show that airs on ESPN Radio.
Pilot Ken Ham, making his first flight on a space shuttle, will make a firmer connection to ESPN when he talks to the show hosts Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg from space.
Buzz Lightyear's trek into orbit is also meant to make a firm connection, this one with students on Earth.
NASA and Disney are joining forces on an education project that gives students a chance to take part online in the Space Ranger Education Series aimed at teaching students about science, technology and math.
It is just those skills that let Lightyear's real-life astronaut crewmates reach for the stars themselves.
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