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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

NASA Mission's 8th Astronaut is Buzz Lightyear

To infinity, and beyond!
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.

Image above: From the left are astronauts Gregory E. Chamitoff, Michael E. Fossum, both STS-124 mission specialists; Kenneth T. Ham, pilot; Mark E. Kelly, commander; Karen L. Nyberg, Ronald J. Garan and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Akihiko Hoshide, all mission specialists. Credit: NASA

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