Science and Exploration

Mission-X 2012: Mission Accomplished

By Keith Cowing
April 13, 2012
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Mission-X 2012: Mission Accomplished

Mission-X is a worldwide educational initiative supported by ESA and national space agencies to encourage healthy and active lifestyles among children aged 8-12 years. Astronauts are inspiring children to eat healthily and exercise regularly.
This year’s challenge involved 10 300 students exercising hard over six weeks since it was launched from the International Space Station by ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers on 2 February. The aim: gain points to send Mission-X mascot Astro Charlie to the Moon. Points were earned by completing challenges inspired by astronaut training.

Activities were designed to get children moving: Let’s Climb a Martian Mountain, Do a Spacewalk, Agility Astro-Course, Get on your Space Cycle and Space Roll-n-Roll are just a few of the activities. Mission-X is not only about exercise – children are taught to think about healthy lifestyles. This year, children learnt about their bones, hydration and energy from food, among other lessons.

The World Health Organization has designated childhood obesity as a serious public health challenge. A healthy diet and physical activity are the solutions to obesity.

Mission-X is doing its part by educating a new generation of healthy and fit children.

Participants have an opportunity to visit London, UK, before the 2012 Olympics this summer. Students can visit Olympic sites with their parents and teachers to participate in Mission-X challenges with ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli and Olympic athletes.

Astronaut instructors will offer advice and further tips in the event being organised by ESA, NASA and the UK Space Agency.

For the 300 teams from 15 countries, Mission-X 2012 is officially over. Next year, Mission-X will be even bigger, with more countries taking part.

This year’s European winners are:

Austria: Korcak-Astronauten
Belgium: Les p’tits Astros
Czech Republic: Team Czech republic
France: Ecole elementaire Jean Giraudoux
Germany: Stommeler Weltraum tied with Stommeler Weltraum-Eles
Italy: Meteore and I Big Bang
Netherlands: Space Fit 5
Portugal: ChampNautas
Spain: La Rojita
Switzerland: Niedergrosgen
UK: St Patrick National School (Ireland) and Bentfield Primary School

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.