Space Shuttle Discovery taking Buzz Lightyear along

Maybe you were following along this past weekend when the space shuttle Discovery took off on its 14-day flight. What you may not have known is that a very familiar character was on board with the astronauts.

That’s right. Buzz Lightyear is on the space shuttle.

I heard he had a rigorous training program beforehand, too. Oh, look! Here’s some footage:

(Raise your hand if you think Buzz Aldrin is an incredibly good sport.)

NASA explains:

As seven, well-trained astronauts begin an important mission to the International Space Station on Saturday, May 31, one toy astronaut, Buzz Lightyear, will begin a journey to help educate children across the country.

The liftoff of space shuttle Discovery kicks off a new education initiative between NASA and Disney Parks. A 12-inch-tall Buzz Lightyear action figure will be carried aboard the shuttle as part of the partnership to encourage students to pursue studies in science, 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 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 and math behind space exploration with a beloved character.”

Your kids can play along with Buzz while he’s in outer space. (Heck, just about everything adults might want to know is available, too.) I’d say you’d have to be a fool not to agree this is possibly NASA’s most awesome mission ever.

(Pssst! Should this spark a new obsession with everyone’s favorite space ranger, Ty’s has you covered. Just sayin’.)

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