ESA "Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut"

ESA "Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut"

‘Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut’, an educational project by ESA and its international partners, will leave the launch pad in January. A new website  has been launched with exercises, activities and information to help children prepare for climbing aboard.

Good physical condition is a must for astronauts and they have to train daily to stay fit during their long missions in space. Their diet on the International Space Station is carefully planned to be healthy and they take care what they eat on the ground. Astronauts are good role models for explaining the importance of physical activity and nutrition to youngsters.

Train like an astronaut

Taking better care of yourself can be fun. ‘Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut’ is a worldwide initiative for everyone, but it is targeted at children aged 8–12 years.

Teams of children from nine countries will learn the principles of healthy eating and exercise, and compete for points by finishing training modules. They will practise scientific reasoning and teamwork while taking part in hands-on training missions targeting strength, endurance, coordination, balance, spatial awareness and more. The lessons and activities are linked to the science and physical education curriculum, with a clear focus on the health and nutrition topics that are part of worldwide curricula.

Mission X is also part of the upcoming ESA’s MagISStra mission to the ISS: Paolo Nespoli will not only train like an astronaut during his six-month flight in space, but will do it along with everyone who takes part in Mission X.

Click to Mission X

The challenge will start in the second week of January and run for the following eight weeks. The website includes 14 exciting physical exercises and four interesting classroom activities, loads of information, a daily quiz and a blog. Users can also post messages and upload pictures. For teachers, it features background information on the project and international space agencies that support it.

Everyone is welcome to get involved in the challenge. All content is open for everybody, although the pilot project has been limited to participating countries. You can use the contact form, the blog or our email address ( to let us know what you are doing and how you or your pupils are 'training like astronauts’. Maybe you, your class and your country could be part of the next Mission X challenge!

How long will it take our Fit Explorers to walk to the moon?

Mission X is an international challenge - and while teams are competing against each other, they are also working together to "walk to the moon!" Every point contributed from every country gets us a step closer to our goal.

The average distance from the earth to the moon is 238,857 miles or 384,403 km. It would take the average human 478 MILLION steps to get to the moon, and at a speed of 3 mph or 4.8 km/h, it would take 79,619 hours. If you walked by yourself, and did not stop, it would take you about 9 YEARS to get to the moon.

Fit Explorers worldwide are adding points (steps) every day as they complete activities - check in every week to see how close they are coming to the moon!