Space Shuttle Discovery

Seven space station astronauts who will fly into orbit aboard space shuttle Discovery will have comfortable seats for the climb into space station. An eighth space station ranger won't have a seat at all. In fact, he will be packed tight inside a box and won't even get to enjoy the ride up.

But it's nothing veteran space discovery spaceman Buzz Lightyear can't overcome.

The good news is that he'll have some sports shows to listen to, along with a host of jerseys that have been to the Champs Elysees in Paris for the Tour de France and to the Super Bowl.

More accustomed to soaring among the solar system galaxies on fold-out wings and a backpack rocket, Lightyear will take to space station on Discovery’s STS-124 mission stowed inside a locker in space Discovery's crew compartment. The 12-inch-tall action figure is flying as part of a partnership between NASA and Disney Parks to encourage students to pursue studies in space science, space technology and mathematics, one of NASA’s main educational goals.

Disney’s Youth Educational Series and NASA have developed an online program known as the Space Ranger Education Series. It includes fun educational games for students, as well as materials for educators to download and integrate into their classroom curriculum.

“NASA is excited to help students understand the science and space technology and engineering currently underway on the International Space Station,” said Joyce Winterton, NASA assistant administrator for Education. “The educational games and resources from this partnership will allow students to explore the science news and math behind space shuttle exploration with a beloved character.”

Each crew member is permitted to carry a few small personal items that are packed into lockers before the launch. Solar systems STS-124 Pilot Ken Ham is responsible for the entertainment - CDs of the ESPN Radio show "Mike and Mike in the Morning." Ham is also expected to talk to hosts Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg from space station towards the end of his space shuttle mission to the International Space Station.Read more...>

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