Mission X launches on the Internet

18 October 2010

‘Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut’, an educational project by ESA and its international partners, will leave the launch pad in January. To help children prepare for climbing aboard, a new website with exercises, activities, information and much more went live last week.

Good physical condition is a must for astronauts and they have to train daily to stay fit during their long missions in space. Their diet on the International Space Station is carefully planned to be healthy and they take care what they eat on the ground.

Astronauts are good role models for explaining the importance of physical activity and nutrition to youngsters. Getting the message across will not only increase their quality of life, but also promote healthier societies.

Train like an astronaut

Taking better care of yourself can be fun. ‘Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut’ is a worldwide initiative for everyone, but it is targeted on children aged 8–12 years.

Teams of children from nine countries will together learn the principles of healthy eating and exercise, compete for points by finishing training modules, and be excited about the world's future in space and the educational possibilities for their own future.

They will practise scientific reasoning and teamwork while taking part in hands-on training missions targeting strength, endurance, coordination, balance, spatial awareness and more.

The lessons and activities will be linked to the science and physical education curriculum, with a clear focus on the health and nutrition topics that are part of worldwide curricula.

Mission X is also part of the upcoming ESA’s MagISStra mission to the ISS: Paolo Nespoli will not only train like an astronaut during his six-month flight in space, but will do it along with everyone who takes part in Mission X.

Click to Mission X

The challenge will start in the second week of January and run for the following eight weeks, but the Mission X website is already open in Dutch, English and Italian. The Spanish version will go live on 1 November and the French and German will follow shortly.

The website includes 14 exciting physical exercises and four interesting classroom activities, loads of information, a daily quiz and a blog. Users can also post messages and upload pictures.

For teachers, it features background information on the project and international space agencies that support it.

Remembering the address is easy: www.trainlikeanastronaut.org

Everyone is invited to train like an astronaut

This global community of international space explorers is supported by Human Spaceflight Directorate of ESA and the national space agencies of Austria, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, UK and USA.

Belgium, Czech Republic and Japan are participating as observers, but are not taking part in the challenge this time.

Everyone is welcome to get involved in the challenge. All content is open for everybody, although the pilot project has been limited to participating countries.

You can use the contact form, the blog or our email address (isseducationteam@esa.int) to let us know what you are doing and how you or your pupils are 'training like astronauts’.

Maybe you, your class and your country could be part of the next Mission X challenge!

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