Buzz In Space
When Toy Story was released in 1995 Buzz Lightyear became quite the hero to children who were interested in flight and space exploration. But did Buzz ever really go into space? Obviously as much as it pains me to admit this, Buzz Lightyear is a cartoon character that inspired lines of toys, coloring books, video games and more. He is in fact NOT real. But, does this mean he couldn’t explore the universe? Yes in deed he could and DID!
In 2008 NASA and Disney/Pixar teamed up to send a Buzz toy into space. Buzz almost didn’t go up on the shuttle though. It seems when it was almost time to launch Disney couldn’t find a Buzz Lightyear to send to NASA . Due to this shortage, the Disney executive in charge of the project brought in his son’s personal Buzz Lightyear toy to NASA. Just because Buzz was already a famous Star Command member when his services were loaned to NASA didn’t exclude him from pre-flight training and preparations. Prior to flight he had his electronics removed and his battery pack sealed for his own safety, and then he was off to train with Buzz Aldrin!
Then on May 31, 2008 on the Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-124. Buzz spent fifteen months on the International Space Station (ISS) helping with experiments and other scientific astronaut things as well as defending the universe from Zurg. Buzz even flew in zero gravity on the days that Toy Story Mania attractions opened in Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
After 15 months in space once Buzz was cleared by NASA to return to his daily life, it was decided that he should spend the rest of his time educating children. On March 29, 2012 he was donated to the Smithsonian’s National Air And Space Museum in Washington D.C.by John Lasseter. In 2014 the Disney and NASA teamed up again to create an educational online video game featuring Buzz and his space adventures.
So the myth that Buzz Lightyear actually went into space is in fact confirmed!
Many TMSM’s followers know that I am a military spouse (GO NAVY!) so you will understand that military connected Disney myths really grab my attention.
Today I came across a myth that stated Disney had planned on suing the U.S. Air Force over the new Air Force Space Badge (AFSB) they released in 2004. The myth goes that in 2004 the Air Force released the article pictured below in the Air Force Print news on 11/11/04 announcing Disney’s intent to sue the U.S. Air Force over their at that time new AFSB award badge because it so closely resembled Buzz Lightyear’s Star Command logo. (The badge is now called the Space Operations Badge.)
The alleged article below alleges the new badge set off a Disney Fan storm of complaints to Disney Corporate which then alerted Disney Legal who then looked into issues with alleged copyright infringement violations. Several things help us figure out if this myth is busted or confirmed, some based on fact some based on learned experience as a military spouse and Air Force Enlisted Spouses Club member.
The first flag in the article for me was the fact the article “quoted” a “space and missile qualified officer”. It is pretty much SOP for military articles to properly note the rank, rate and last name of any officer interviewed for official press releases unless they can’t be named, and in that case they will note that they spoke to an anonymous spokesperson. The second flag was that the “officer’s quote “Who’s knucklehead idea was this anyway? As if I don’t get enough crap from my fighter buddies and now I’ve got to live with this?!” An Air Force Public Affairs individual should in fact know the difference between who’s and whose* and it is rare to find quotes like that in military news releases as they don’t really make the officer look professional. Also the P.A. group would have used a quality image of the Star Command logo in the article’s close up images to show the “similarities” between the two logos. But finally, and most importantly in my book, no matter how hard I tried I was unable to find ANY article from Peterson Air Force Base dated 11/11/2004 regarding this or any other topic.
Based on these observations and facts, I have to say that not only is this myth busted, the article above is in fact a really good fake. For those that would like to see the actual article that was spoofed you can visit this online archive.
Graphic and Info Sources and Citations:
* Who’s meaning “who is”, whose meaning the possessive of who.