Toy Story Mania! Goes Intergalactic as Buzz Lightyear’s Space Mission Continues

ANAHEIM, Calif., June 17, 2008 – Today, Buzz Lightyear’s dream of flying in space finally came true when he made his first appearance in zero gravity aboard the International Space Station (ISS) with Astronaut Greg Chamitoff, flight engineer for the Expedition 18 mission, to officially open the Toy Story Mania! attraction at Disney’s California Adventure. In a downlink from the ISS to the Disneyland Resort, Buzz and Astronaut Chamitoff shared with the world what it’s like to experience life in space.   

The 12-inch action figure made a historic journey to “to infinity and beyond!” aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery and will conduct various experiments and tests in zero gravity aboard the ISS as part of NASA’s “Toys in Space” program.  

“Buzz’s test in zero gravity is not only a dream come true but an inspiration for children everywhere who share Buzz’s dream of space exploration,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We are pleased to be working with NASA on such a special mission for Buzz.”  

With Buzz, Disney Parks and NASA launched its Space Ranger Education Series, part of NASA’s “Toys in Space” educational program for teachers and students, online at www.nasa.gov. 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 U.S. economic competitiveness and technological leadership.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Developed

Developed by Disney and NASA, “Toys in Space” features materials for educators to download and integrate into their classroom curriculum as well as online, educational games linked to each key component of the mission. The series, hosted at www.nasa.gov, will be available throughout 2008.  

“NASA is excited to help students understand the science and engineering currently underway at 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.”  

Buzz’s Space Itinerary

Buzz is spending several months in space at the ISS testing the limits of zero gravity as part of NASA’s “Toys in Space” program. Tentative plans for Buzz’s return include a back-to-school initiative and possibly a hero’s welcome at Walt Disney World in Florida later this year. Prior to launch, Buzz participated in vigorous training, which included a pep talk from legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin http://youtube.com/watch?v=1PsOB3flufQ.  

The Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-124 is traveling 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, guests may visit www.nasa.gov