Toy, Buzz Lightyear, Space-flown

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This object is on display in the Moving Beyond Earth exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

This Buzz Lightyear toy flew to the International Space Station in 2008 through an educational initiative developed by NASA with Disney•Pixar, as part of NASA's broader "Toys in Space" project. The toy flew aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery twice (up on STS-124 and down on STS-128) and spent 15 months aboard the ISS, where it was featured occasionally on down-linked videos for the project. At the same time, Disney•Pixar gave NASA permission to use the character in on-line educational interactives and hard-copy hand-outs to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning.

The actual toy that flew in space came from James Wardle, son of the Disney team member who coordinated the program with NASA. Unable to locate a Buzz Lightyear toy when he needed to ship one to NASA, Duncan Wardle found this one under his son's bed and sent that. The Wardle family donated the space-flown toy to the Museum in 2012.