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ESA's Mission X Astronaut Training Program

Mission X: train like an astronaut in 2012

"ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers is inviting thousands of schoolchildren to perform physical activities and to learn about healthy nutrition to compete with teams from around the world to become as fit as astronauts. Mission X kicks off again in February! ESA is teaming up with NASA as well as other space agencies and using space explorers as models to promote regular exercise and healthy nutrition among young people worldwide."

"After eight weeks of exercises and classroom activities, 4000 children from more than 25 cities worldwide are about to conclude their 'Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut' challenge that promotes healthy nutrition and regular exercise. Acrobatic space somersaults and climbing martian mountains are some of the fun activities - inspired by astronaut training - performed by children and teachers from Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom and the USA. This has helped pupils aged 8-12 years to understand the importance of staying fit for astronauts and children alike, in space as on Earth." More.

NASA and 14 international space agencies are challenging students to complete a nutrition and fitness program known as "Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut." Approximately 3,700 students from more than 25 different cities worldwide are participating in this six-week pilot project.

NASA's Human Research Program is sponsoring the U.S. component of the international challenge that began Tuesday. Teams of students between eight and 12 years old will learn principles of healthy eating, exercise and compete for points by finishing training modules. Students also will practice scientific reasoning and teamwork while participating in hands-on training that targets strength, endurance, coordination, balance and spatial awareness. The exercises will involve the same types of skills astronauts learn during training for spaceflights.