Astronauts Read Children's Books Onboard the ISS in 'Story Time From Space' Series

Friday, 20 April 2018 - 7:30PM
Space
Friday, 20 April 2018 - 7:30PM
Astronauts Read Children's Books Onboard the ISS in 'Story Time From Space' Series
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YouTube/Story Time From Space
If you have a young kid who's showing some interest in space or anything STEM-related, the astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) want to help.

By partnering with the nonprofit Global Space Education Foundation (GSEF), the ISS astronaut crew is working on a new series of videos where they read popular children's books about STEM and space, from space. With a name that gets right to the point, the series is called Story Time from Space and updates irregularly with new videos. 

Which means if you're willing to take a night off from reading a bedtime story to your child, you can show them a story being read aloud by an astronaut in zero gravity, who broadcasted the video from outside Earth's atmosphere. See one of the recent videos below, of American astronaut Kate Rubins reading Rosie Revere, Engineer. It's an earlier recording, since Rubins has already returned to Earth, but it's just been released:



It's a neat idea - NASA (and space agencies from other countries) will always need up-and-coming engineers and potential spacefarers, and as far as role models go, an astronaut is a pretty good choice. Beyond Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, there aren't too many widely known astronauts, so this is a good way to introduce a child to current ones.

All of the books have to be approved by GSEF before they agree to launch them off into space - NASA then has to sterilize the book and pack it into a supply ship bound for the ISS. To meet that approval, the potential book has to be short (it can be read in under 15 minutes), be related to STEM somehow, and most importantly, it has to be accurate.

Several of the readings are available on YouTube or the official Story Time From Space website, with future ones coming soon, including a reading of The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm, by Reading Rainbow host and former TV space engineer LeVar Burton (he won't be going up into space to read it dressed as Geordi from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but that's asking a lot of him).

Nearly every kid wants to be an astronaut when they grow up at some point, and this can be a fun way to engage with that.

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