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NASA to launch 'Buzz Lightyear' into space

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) May 29, 2008
The U.S. space agency says Saturday's liftoff of space shuttle Discovery will involve seven trained astronauts and one toy astronaut named Buzz Lightyear.

The launch of Discovery to the International Space Station kicks off a new education initiative between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Disney Parks. The 12-inch-tall Buzz Lightyear action figure will be carried aboard the shuttle as part of the partnership to encourage students to pursue studies in science, technology and mathematics.

Disney's Youth Educational Series and NASA have developed an online program known as the Space Ranger Education Series. It includes fun educational games for students, as well as materials for educators to download and integrate into their classroom curriculum.

"We are thrilled that Buzz's lifelong dream of space travel finally will come true thanks to NASA," said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "This launch fulfills his dream, and we hope it will inspire countless children to stay interested in science and believe in their own dreams."

Beginning Saturday, the online games featuring Buzz Lightyear will be available at by clicking on the box for "NASA Kids' Club."

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French skydiver fails record freefall bid
North Battleford, Saskatchewan (AFP) May 27, 2008
French skydiver Michel Fournier's bid to set a new altitude freefall record was scuppered Tuesday when the balloon that was to carry him into the stratosphere separated from his gondola.

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