(Washington, D.C.) –– Fifty years after man first walked on the moon, the SpaceBuzz rocket-like vehicle touches down at the International Astronautical Congress at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to give school kids (ages 9 to 12) the opportunity to become virtual astronauts and take a flight to Space.
The SpaceBuzz education program, created by Dutch astronaut André Kuipers, uses virtual reality to let kids experience the “Overview Effect,” the experience astronauts have when they view the Earth from outer space. Kuipers and other astronauts have spoken on the powerful experience of seeing the blue dot of Earth surrounded by the darkness of the universe and the realization that in space, the Earth is a fragile planet that needs our care. SpaceBuzz’s mission is to have millions of children around the world experience the “Overview Effect”.
Students attending the IAC Public Day on Friday, October 25, are invited to experience SpaceBuzz throughout the day. At 11 a.m., fifth-graders from Walker-Jones Education Campus, the class that the embassy adopted this year as part of DC Public Schools’ Embassy Adoption Program, will experience the “Overview Effect” for themselves.
Other sessions for schoolchildren will be held at 9 a.m., and 1 and 3 p.m.
SpaceBuzz features a 50-foot-long rocket-like vehicle equipped with the latest in virtual reality and augmented reality technologies. In SpaceBuzz, schoolchildren will experience what it’s like to train as an astronaut; fly to space and see the Earth through the eyes of an astronaut; and debrief to share their experience just like real astronauts do. The mission of SpaceBuzz is to create “Ambassadors of Planet Earth.”
SpaceBuzz was introduced earlier this month to 125 international astronauts gathered in Houston. They are invited to adopt SpaceBuzz in their own countries. The module comes to Washington as part of a delegation of 15 Dutch space companies and institutions participating in the International Astronautical Congress. The Netherlands is recognized worldwide for its reliable space technology, satellite operations and groundbreaking science.
Members of the media interested in seeing the schoolchildren experience SpaceBuzz should call Carla Bundy, the Dutch embassy’s press officer, at 202-274-2632.