Space Shuttle Endeavour will fly into orbit with a little Czech 'astronaut', one of the country’s most popular children's comic characters: Krteček, the mole.
Astronaut Andrew Feustel, whose wife hails from the Czech Republic, took with him on his first mission a collection of poems entitled ‘Space Songs’ from the leading Czech poet of the 19th century, Jan Neruda. He travelled this time with a 19 cm cuddly astronaut in his personal luggage.
Krteček links the world of space with the world of children and is helping to promote interest in aerospace, technology and science among the country’s younger generation.
A larger mole-astronaut visited schools, libraries and educational centres in the Czech Republic under the 'Into Space with Mole' project of the Education Department of the Czech Space Office and the American Educational Center of the US Embassy.
Follow the space voyage of Krteček here: www.dokosmuskrtkem.cz