Toy Story action figure Buzz Lightyear made his first appearance in zero gravity aboard the International Space Station to officially open the Toy Story Mania! attraction at Disney’s California Adventure. Buzz and real-life Astronaut Greg Chamitoff, flight engineer for the Expedition 18 mission, addressed Earth-bound fans at Disneyland via downlink from orbit. See the video below.
Buzz also helped Disney Parks and NASA launch their Space Ranger Education Series, part of NASA’s Toys in Space educational program for teachers and students (www.nasa.gov/kidsclub). The program builds on NASA’s efforts to encourage students to pursue studies in science, technology and mathematics by providing materials for educators to download and integrate into classroom . Online features such as educational games are also linked to each key component of the mission at www.nasa.gov/kidsclub.
Tentative plans for Buzz’s return from space include a back-to-school initiative and possibly a hero’s welcome at Walt Disney World in Florida later this year. For additional information about the educational series and NASA programs, guests go to www.nasa.gov.