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  4. About Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut with Activity Resources and Language Links

UPDATE: STEM UK has launched a brand new website for The International Challenge for Mission X. The USA program has stopped and is now archived on the NASA website.

Mission X: train like an astronaut is an international educational challenge, focusing on health, science, fitness and nutrition, which encourages pupils to train like an astronaut.

Astro Charlie the Mission-X mascot. Teams of children exercise to earn points during their school lessons. These points are converted into steps that will virtually take Astro Charlie to the Moon, 478 million steps from Earth. Astro Charlie fitness

Train Like an Astronaut is inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative, dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity and encouraging families across the country to commit to living healthier lives. Living and working in space requires NASA astronauts to be fit and eat right in order to perform at a high level.

Through the use of the astronaut exercises, children across America can train like an astronaut to reach their personal health goals. NASA supports the First Lady's cause and is excited to contribute to a healthier lifestyle for all Americans.

The International Challenge for Mission X

Mission X Train Like an Astronaut is a free educational program developed by space scientists and fitness professionals working with astronauts and space agencies across the world.

Mission X uses the excitement of space exploration to inspire students to learn about science, nutrition, exercise and space! It is aimed at students aged 8 to 12 but the activities can be adapted to suit other ages.

The international challenge for Mission X runs each year from January to May. During the challenge, countries from across the world encourage their students to complete the mission challenges. Each country is made up of teams who complete activities and track their points. At the end of the mission, all of the submitted points help the Mission X mascot, Astro Charlie, walk to the Moon!

Get started by downloading the Welcome Guide (for teachers).

2019 STEM Learning in UK

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STEM Learning operates the National STEM Learning Centre and Network, alongside other projects supporting STEM education.

2019 Mission X: train like an astronaut is an international educational challenge, focusing on health, science, fitness and nutrition, which encourages pupils to train like an astronaut.

The perfect project for school teachers of pupils between 8 and 12 years old, Mission X is also ideal for educators who run science clubs, youth and community groups, after-school clubs and home educators. We provide a wealth of free resources to help educators teach the principles of health and exercise, using a space context. Many of the lessons and activities are linked to the science curriculum and have a clear focus on health and nutrition. The materials are available in a range of languages.

On this worldwide challenge, pupils practice scientific reasoning and teamwork whilst participating in hands-on STEM education and physical education activities targeting strength, endurance, coordination, balance and spatial awareness. For each activity completed, teams earn points which are submitted through the website. Each point earned helps the Mission X mascot, Astro Charlie, walk to the Moon. 

Supported by the UK Space Agency and the European Space AgencyESERO-UK oversees the challenge and has launched a brand new website where people from around the world can learn more about the project, gather ideas to spark interest in space exploration and access the free teaching resources.

USA 2011-2018
About Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut

Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut program was active from 2011-2018

About Physical Activities

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These physical activities, illustrated in the Mission Handouts, utilize the same body parts/systems as astronauts do in training and on missions in space. The activities may be used by individual students or delivered to an audience of students by educators.

Each Mission Handout contains a crew member mission, mission briefing, mission assignment, and mission purpose, plus vocabulary and related NASA facts. Safety guidelines are also provided for a successful completion of each mission! The Mission Handout physical activities can be practiced over time – simultaneously or one per week.

These handouts should be reviewed and understood by the student prior to participation in the physical activity.

Correlated to the National Education Standards, the Mission Handout Educator Guide provides NASA background information and also give hints on delivery of the physical activity to students. Monitoring and assessment questions are included in the guide for use before, during and after the delivery of the physical activities. Additional resources and career links can be accessed as extensions to the Mission Handouts.

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When available, we provide all our content with a Spanish version in our public download section. You can find additional material from sources listed in all our articles.