For decades, humans have ventured into space, pushing the boundaries of their mental and physical limits to explore the great unknown. But no professional astronaut can leave Earth without extensive training.
Astronauts must have a multitude of competencies and capabilities, in-depth knowledge, and be in peak physical condition. And while it takes years of training to prepare for spaceflight, the first steps to building those crucial key skills begin here on Earth, from a young age.
In Mission X: train like an astronaut, you’ll learn the key elements to keeping fit and staying healthy in space and on Earth. 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. The project can be delivered either through the curriculum, through collapsed timetable days, through homework challenges or clubs … or a mixture!
Mission X aims to promote the teaching and learning of STEM competences and physical skills through two sets of activities:
- Physical activities are hands-on training missions targeting strength, endurance, coordination, balance, spatial awareness, and more.
- Scientific activities are classroom investigations which focus on STEM subjects and allow students to practice scientific reasoning, critical thinking, teamwork skills, and more.
Walk to the Moon Challenge
Each year from January to May, teams of students can participate in the Walk to the Moon Challenge. During the challenge, teams across the world complete Mission X activities and submit them online to earn steps. Steps submitted by all of the participating teams help the Mission X mascots, Luna and Leo, walk 384 400km – the distance from Earth to the Moon.
The challenge takes place annually from the beginning of January to the end of May.
The challenge is designed to be completed in 6 weeks, but can be adapted to suit alternative timelines. There is no minimum or maximum amount of activities that must be completed to participate in the challenge.
Who can participate?
Age Range: The Mission X activities are developed for ages 8-12, but can easily be adapted for other age groups and skill levels.
- No minimum or maximum number of team members required to participate, but students are encouraged to work with at least 1 other person.
- Each team must be supported by a Team Leader (teacher, mentor, educator, or parent).
- Family teams are welcome.
Open worldwide: National Organisers help facilitate the project in each of our participating countries by providing local support.
- If your country is not listed, you can still take part in the challenge! Your registration will be managed by our UK National Organiser.
How to complete activities and earn steps
The Walk to the Moon Challenge steps calculator will open for submissions in January!
STEP 1: Sign-up or log-in to your Team Leader account.
STEP 2: Add your Teams.
STEP 3: Completing the physical and scientific activities from the Mission X activity catalogue.
STEP 4: On your Team Leader Dashboard you can click the “Submit Activities” button for each of your registered Teams.
STEP 5: Select a Team and the activity your team completed from the dropdown menu. Give a scoring for how well your Team completed the activity. Click “submit”.
STEP 6: Congratulations! Your earned steps are automatically generated and added to the overall step calculator on the Walk to the Moon Challenge page.
Remember, Team members can also track their individual progress using the Mission Journal: Student Logbook (download below).
Introduction to activities
The physical activities utilise 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 activity contains a crew member mission, mission briefing, mission assignment, and mission purpose, plus vocabulary and related facts. Safety guidelines are also provided for a successful completion of each activity! The physical activities can be practiced over time – simultaneously or one per week.