Axiom Space, a private space exploration company, has partnered with Build-A-Bear Workshop to send a teddy bear to space. The bear, named “GiGi,” took off yesterday as the Ax-2 mission’s zero-gravity indicator. The partnership aims to inspire children to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by showing them that even a teddy bear can go to space.
“Guests dream big at Build-A-Bear, and the opportunity to partner with Axiom Space as part of the Ax-2 mission and send GiGi, the furry fifth crew member, to space is a special honor that we hope inspires youth across the globe to reach for the stars, pursue adventures, and follow their passion,” said Sharon Price John, President and Chief Executive Officer at Build-A-Bear. “With Build-A-Bear’s 25-year history of creating special moments, our GiGi wearing the next-generation spacesuit, has the wonderful opportunity to be part of history as the Ax-2 crew’s zero-gravity indicator.”
From the release:
GiGi going to space continues the tradition of having a zero-gravity indicator inside the spacecraft to provide a visual indicator when the spacecraft has reached the weightlessness of microgravity. As the fifth crew member of Ax-2, GiGi’s mission is to inspire children around the world to learn about space and consider careers in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM).
The Ax-2 mission is the first fully private human spaceflight mission to the ISS. The Ax-2 crew includes Commander Peggy Whitson and Pilot John Shoffner, both from the United States, and Mission Specialists Ali Alqarni and Rayyanah Barnawi representing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The partnership between Axiom Space and Build-A-Bear Workshop is a unique way to inspire children to pursue careers in STEM. By sending a teddy bear to space, they are showing that anyone can be part of the space exploration journey, regardless of their background or profession.