Menu
We adore these astronauts reading children's books from space 😍
YouTube

Story time is meant to transport a child's imagination as far as it can go, and now, our kids can hear stories from someone who has gone literally as far as they can go.


Astronauts are reading kids' books from the International Space Station, and your kids can watch.

The program is called Story Time from Space, and it's described in a very NASA way on the NASA website: "Payload operations require crew members to videotape themselves reading the stories and demonstrating STEM concepts from the books. Data collected from sensors attached to the demos, collected in the data unit and interfaced with the laptop, is downlinked with recorded videos to ground."

FEATURED VIDEO

In layman's terms, it's YouTube videos of astronauts reading from space and it is getting kids interested in STEM.

"What better role models to engage kids in science and to engage them in reading?" Patricia Tribe, the former director of education at Space Center Houston told the Huffington Post. "You're not only looking and listening to the books, you're looking around the International Space Station."

Tribe founded Story Time From Space with astronaut Benjamin Alvin Drew Jr., who tested the project by reading Max Goes to the Moon, a book by astrophysicist and author Jeffrey Bennett, during the final flight of the space shuttle Discovery in 2011. (The book has since been re-read by astronaut Mike Hopkins.)



In 2014, the program launched officially, with five kids' books aboard when the Orbital 1 blasted off to resupply the International Space Station. In the years since, more stories have been transmitted down to curious little minds. Tribe says the team doesn't just try to pick diverse books, but also pick a diverse group of astronauts to be the readers.

Astronaut Kate Rubins read Rosie Revere, Engineer, a story about a girl with dreams to be an engineer, and astronaut Koichi Wakata read Max Goes to the Space Station in Japanese.


The stories are important, but so is the location from which they're being told. According to Drew, letting kids get a glimpse inside the ISS is like rocket fuel for little brains.

"What you cannot imagine, you cannot do. When the Apollo missions blasted off and went to the moon, I was right there with those crews—landing lunar modules and cantering along on the surface of the moon," he said back when the program officially launched in 2014. "Story Time From Space is intended to ignite children's engines of adventure, imagination and curiosity and to let those engines take them to any place and time of their choosing."

Check out the Story Time From Space video library and help your kids blast off, too.

You can find the copies of the books on Amazon, if you'd like to read along on planet Earth. Check out Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty and Max Goes to the Moon: A Science Adventure with Max the Dog by Jeffrey Bennett.


You might also like:

In This Article

    Why right now is the best time for a drivable getaway

    Flexible schedules mean more vacation options. 🙌

    Looking back now, last winter feels like a lifetime ago. At the time, my husband and I were eagerly planning our summer vacation just as we've done in years past. You know how the next part goes: COVID-19 came into the picture and changed our plans not only for vacationing, but for so much else in life.

    In the time since then, we've gained a truly valuable new perspective on what matters—and realized we don't have to look so far to make beautiful memories with our kids. By exploring getaways within driving distance of our home, we've developed a new appreciation for the ability to "pack up the car and go."

    Of course, that isn't to say that travel is the carefree adventure it once was. With COVID-19 still a very big part of the equation, we've become much more diligent about planning trips that allow for social distancing and exceed cleanliness standards. That's why we've exclusively turned to Vrbo, which helps us find nearby accommodations that meet our new criteria. Better yet?

    Thanks to the money we've saved by skipping air travel and our remote-friendly work schedules, we're able to continue with the trips throughout the fall.

    Here are a few more reasons we believe it's a great time for drivable getaways.

    Flexible schedules allow us to mix work + play.

    After months of lockdown, my family was definitely itching for a change of scenery as the summer began. By looking at drivable destinations with a fresh set of eyes—and some helpful accommodation-finding filters on Vrbo—we were able to find private houses that meet our needs. (Like comfortably fitting our family of five without anyone having to sleep on a pull-out couch!)

    With space to spread out and feel like a home away from home, we quickly realized that we didn't need to limit our getaways to the weekends—instead we could take a "Flexcation," a trip that allows us to mix work and play. Thanks to the ability to work remotely and our kids' distance-learning schedule for the fall, we're planning a mid-week trip next month that will allow us to explore a new destination after clocking out for the day.

    We’re embracing off-season deals.

    With Labor Day no longer marking the end of our vacationing season, we're able to take advantage of nearby getaways that mark down their rates during the off season. For us in the Mountain West, that means visiting ski-town destinations when the leaves are falling rather than the snow. By saving money on that front, we're able to splurge a bit with our accommodations—so you can bet I search for houses that include a private hot tub for soaking in while enjoying the mountain views!

    Vacationing is a way to give back.

    If we've learned one thing this year, it's that life can change pretty quickly. That's given us a new appreciation for generous cancellation policies and transparent cleaning guidelines when booking trips. By seeing both of these things front and center in Vrbo listings along with reviews from fellow travelers, I feel confident when I hit the "book now" button.

    Beyond that, I know that booking a trip through Vrbo isn't only a gift to my family. On the other side of the transaction, there are vacation home owners and property managers who appreciate the income during these uncertain times. What's more, taking getaways allows us to support our local economy—even if it's just by ordering new takeout food to enjoy from our home away from home.

    While "looking ahead" doesn't feel as easy as it once did, I am confident that there will be a lot of drivable getaways in our future.

    This article was sponsored by Vrbo. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

    Our Partners

    Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

    So, what's new this week?

    Happiest Baby: Baby sleep solutions designed by the experts

    Created by renowned pediatrician, baby sleep expert and (as some might say) lifesaver Dr. Harvey Karp, Happiest Baby has been helping new parents understand and nurture their infants for close to two decades. Building on the success of his celebrated books and video The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block he's developed groundbreaking, science-based product solutions that conquer a new parent's top stressor—exhaustion.

    WSEL Bags: Dad-designed diaper bags that think of everything

    WSEL stands for work smart, enjoy life—an ethos we couldn't agree with more. Founded by a stay at home dad who struggled to find a diaper bag that he not only wanted to use, but one that would last far beyond the baby years, these premium, adventure-ready backpacks are ideal for everything from errands to week-long getaways.

    Codex Beauty: Exceptionally effective sustainable skin care

    Codex Beauty's line of sustainable plant-based skin care blends the science of plant biology with biotech innovations, to create clinically proven, state-of-the-art products for all skin types. They're all vegan, EWG and Leaping Bunny verified and created in collaboration with Herbal Scientist Tracy Ryan who uses concepts dating back to the 8th century leveraging plants like sea buckthorn and calendula flower. Not only are we totally crushing on the innovative formulas that are in the packaging but we're in love with the sustainable sugarcane-derived tubes as well.

    Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

    Keep reading Show less
    Shop

    Mama, all I see is you

    A love letter from your baby.

    Mama,

    I can't see past you right now, I'm so small and everything's a little blurry.

    All I see is you.

    When you feel alone, like the walls are closing in, remember I'm here too. I know your world has changed and the days feel a little lonely. But they aren't lonely for me.

    You are my everything.

    When you feel like you don't know what you're doing, you're making it look easy to me. Even though we're still getting to know each other, you know me better than anyone.

    I trust you.

    Keep reading Show less
    Life