Monday, June 2, 2008

Disney and NASA Send Buzz Lightyear into Space..To Infinity and Beyond!

Cape Canaveral, Fla., May 29, 2008 - The countdown has begun for Buzz Lightyear's dream come true.

Disney Parks and NASA - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration - are sending the beloved action figure "to infinity and beyond!" Buzz Lightyear will buckle in and blast off aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-124. Liftoff from Kennedy Space Center is scheduled for 5:02 p.m. ET on May 31.

With Buzz will launch the aspiration of millions of schoolchildren who dream of space travel. STS-124 will coincide with the kickoff of the Space Ranger Education Series - part of NASA's "Toys in Space," an educational program for teachers and students. The program builds on NASA's educational goals of encouraging students to pursue studies in science, technology and mathematics (STEM) subjects, which are vitally important in sustaining US economic competitiveness and technological leadership.

During the mission, the 12-inch-high, self-proclaimed defender of the galaxy will join in mission activities, including a spacewalk in zero gravity, and experience the same G-forces and weightlessness the astronauts do, helping to introduce fun elements from space into science and math classrooms across the country.

Buzz's groundbreaking mission into space also coincides the launch of his latest debut on Earth in Toy Story Mania!, Disney Parks new attraction which opens May 31 at Walt Disney World, Florida and June 17 at Disneyland Resort, California.

"NASA is excited to help students understand the science and engineering currently underway on the International Space Station," said Dr. 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."

Developed by Disney's Youth Educational Series (Disney Y.E.S.) and NASA, the program will feature materials for educators to download and integrate into their classroom curriculum as well as fun online educational games. Upon visiting the site, educators and school kids will find interactive lessons on testing zero gravity, critical thinking and simple mathematical problem-solving equations tied to each key component of the mission. The program will be hosted at www.nasa.gov from launch until the end of 2008 as part of Buzz's mission to the International Space Station.

"The Space Ranger Education Series will give teachers an opportunity to incorporate a fun and engaging moment into the classroom with a character that children really love," said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "We're pleased to join NASA in creating a program that can help keep kids excited about math and science.

Buzz's Space Itinerary
Buzz will spend several months in space at the International Space Station (ISS) testing the limits of zero gravity before returning home to a hero's welcome at Disney World later this year. While in space, Buzz will participate in an experiment flying in zero gravity and appear in a video downlink from the ISS.

The Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-124 will travel with seven astronauts to install Kibo's large Japanese Pressurized Module (JPM) and the lab's robotic arm system.

For additional information about the educational series and NASA programs, please visit http://www.nasa.gov/ .

This article courtesy of MagicalMountain.net. Thanks Babs for the heads up!

6 comments:

Matthew said...

This is so COOL! I hope that they send back some pictures of Buz taking part in a spacewalk!

Duckman said...

I wasn't aware they were going to do that. Appreciate Babs calling to my attention. After Toy Story Mania while at WDW, have a renewed interest in Toy Story. Agree, would be cool if photos were made available once Buzz is in space.

Consultant said...

Very cool. Slightly off topic on the post but on-topic with the site... I always thought it was ashame they made all the Toy Story 1 WDCC figurines mass-produced open editions. I think Toy Story is a landmark film and will be part of a 'New Generation' of classics for the future colletor who was a kid when this movie came out.

Babette said...

There is some pretty funny stuff on the NASA.gov site for the mission. One clip has Buzz Aldrin putting Buzz through astronaut training tests to make sure he can handle the trip. http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/index.html

Duckman said...

Hi Consultant,

Welcome to the Blog! At the time the Toy Story pieces were released, was the period when the WDCC was mass producing the line and flooding the market. The original scene from Toy Story released in 1998 consisted of an Opening Title, Buzz and Woody (released in Sept.) and Bo Peep and Hamm (released in Oct.), all Open Edition. Rex was also released in Oct. but Limited to Production for that year. The scene was always generic to me.

I felt the line better captured the characters from the film with the releases from Toy Story 2. Jessie & Bullseye and Stinky Pete are both stand-out pieces.

I personally have nothing from this film but gained a new interest in the film after being in WDW recently and riding Toy Story Mania. I'd like to see a more elaborate piece done from this film, specifically Buzz and Woody riding in RC as they attempt to catch Andy's moving van.

Duckman said...

Thanks Babs for posting that link -- some funny stuff!!