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



    - Beloved Space Ranger Flies in Zero Gravity at the International Space
    Station -

    DISNEY PARKS, June 17 /CNW/ - 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 Parks. 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 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.

    (Note to Editors:

    For news media inquiries and photos, please visit Disney Parks' media-
    only news sites - www.wdwnews.com or www.disneylandnews.com - or call
    Walt Disney World Public Relations at 407/566-6397 or Disneyland Public
    Relations at 714/781-4500.)





For further information:

For further information: NASA Media Contact: Sonja Alexander, (202)
358-1761, sonja.r.alexander@nasa.gov; Disney Parks Media Contact: Duncan
Wardle, (407) 566-6397, duncan.wardle@disney.com

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