Thursday 29 Mar, 2012

Buzz Lightyear lands at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Buzz Lightyear is going on one more adventure, albeit not as wild as his previous others, but it will be just as exciting. The well-known astronaut from the Toy Story series will be landing at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum today.

Buzz Lightyear at the Launch Pad. Photo credit: NASA

John Lassiter, the chief creative officer at PIXAR and creator of Buzz, will be presenting a 12-inch Buzz Lightyear action figure to the museum in a special ceremony. Watch a live webcast of Buzz’s presentation to the Smithsonian. Along with Lassiter, representatives from the Smithsonian as well as Lori Graver, deputy administrator for NASA, will attend the ceremony.

Buzz will become part of the museum’s collections because this famous toy astronaut actually traveled in the space shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station.

The arrival of Buzz Lightyear to the Smithsonian seems like a likely destination for one of the more famous astronauts in recent years. Lassiter had hoped for this, saying in a 2009 interview with collectSpace.com “Frankly, I would love it to go to the Smithsonian so that kids can actually see this Buzz went to space.”

Buzz in his ticker-tape parade. Photo credit: collectSpace.com

Lightyear was flown up to the space station aboard the Discovery Space Shuttle in June 2008 in collaboration with Walt Disney and NASA. Additionally there were several other activities attached to the launching of Buzz including a mission patch design contest for students and Buzz Lightyear educational online games and videos. A year later the iconic action figure was welcomed back to earth with a parade along with fellow astronaut Mike Finkcke and the Buzz’s namesake, Buzz Aldrin.

Buzz Lightyear’s admission to the museum coincides with the arrival of the space shuttle that he traveled upon. That event will take place on April 19 and is a part of a larger shuttle themed gallery, Moving Beyond Earth, which will open later this year.

While he may be an action figure, it seems almost poetic that Buzz Lightyear will end his event-filled journey at the National Air and Space Museum. He conveniently blends in among the older artifacts of the museum, especially the space suits worn by the likes of Buzz Aldrin. Lassiter stated in 2009 “A big part of his design was based on how the Apollo astronauts looked…That’s why he is primarily white and he has that big, clear helmet and he has a skullcap; it’s very much based upon the real NASA astronauts.”

So here’s to Buzz and his addition to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum: “To Infinity and Beyond.”

This post was written by guest blogger David Appel. Thanks, David!

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>