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ESA astronaut André Kuipers at Mission-X kick-off event 2013

Goodbye couch potato, hello Mission-X!

14 February 2013
Thousands of schoolchildren are participating in the ‘Mission-X: Train Like an Astronaut’ challenge that began a six-week programme this week to encourage kids to be fit and eat well.

Students aged 8 to 12 years old from over 20 countries joined Astronaut André Kuipers during a live webcast from ESA’s ESTEC centre in the Netherlands.

“It is very important for children to have an energetic lifestyle. I always advise them to stay healthy and study hard to become the explorers of the future,” said André.

Children at Mission-X 2013 kick-off
André answered dozens of questions from students at ESTEC and via Twitter. From Colombia to Spain, from Japan to the Netherlands, students asked about space food, the calories that astronauts need per day, and what it feels like to be weightless.

“If you do not use your bones and muscles, you will lose your strength. Keep exercising and do not stop training – astronauts never give up,” said André.

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, the next European to fly to the Space Station, is also part of this competition. He is encouraging children to work with each other and earn points to send Mission-X mascot Astro Charlie to the Moon.

Do you want to know what space smells like? What happens if you sneeze in a spacecraft? Does food taste differently? Watch the video to hear André’s answers to these questions and many more!

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