In September, a 12-inch Buzz Lightyear action figure, of the famous Disney movie “Toy Story”, returned to Earth after a 15 month stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS). He was flown back on the Space Shuttle Discover (mission STS-128). After each mission, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronauts design patches to symbolize the mission they just completed. In keeping with this tradition, NASA and Disney have teamed up and created the “Buzz Lightyear Mission Patch Design Challenge”.

The “mission”, if you choose to accept it, is to design the commemorative patch utilizing templates and art work inspired by previous NASA badges as well as NASA and Disney creative elements and add-ons. A website has been set up to assist in this mission at

In addition to the actual design, children must submit a brief essay (up to 100 words) describing their design. The entries can be submitted via email or by snail mail.

This purpose of this challenge is not only to commemorate Buzz Lightyear’s achievement but also to build on NASA’s educational goals of encouraging students to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. As part of this challenge, children will also learn about the requirements of space flight and the science involved in NASA programs.

What is the award? A trip for the family (up to four) to the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida AND a VIP tour of the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The deadline is NOVEMBER 6, 2009, so please hurry if you are interested in this unique and creative challenge. For information and to start work on the patch, go to

For a discussion on this topic and others, please go to our discussion forums at

Browse Categories