Astronaut Rick Mastracchio with the Geocaching Travel Bug in the International Space Station Photo Courtesy: Nasa
An American astronaut Rick Mastracchio (AstroRM) enters the Geocaching history books. He logged the First-to-Find (FTF) on one of the most exclusive geocaches in existence. It’s a geocache hidden five years ago aboard the International Space Station. The geocache has orbited 260 miles above the Earth since geocaching pioneer and video game designer Richard Garriott created the geocache in 2008.
Signed logbook on the International Space Station geocache
Astronaut Rick Mastracchio’s FTF log reads, “The geo space bug (TB5JJN1) has made it to the Russian Service Module, panel 218. He traveled from Waterbury, CT to Houston, TX to Cologne, Germany to Moscow, Star City Russia, to Baikonur Kazakhstan where it launched on a Russian Soyuz Rocket to the International Space Station. He has traveled around the space station and will continue to do so for the next 6 months. When he is not traveling he will be staying with me in my very small crew quarters. He hangs/floats on my wall and waits for more adventures while I do research and perform experiments here on ISS. Thanks for getting this little guy started Cizzors. Every journey starts with the first step and you took the first step of this one. Rick.”
Mastracchio thanked fellow Connecticut geocacher Robert Cizauskas (Cizzors) who first introduced the idea of geocaching to the astronaut. More than 26,000 geocachers at nearly 1,200 events around the world celebrated Geocaching in Space during Mastracchio’s launch into orbit.
The Travel Bug with hitchhikers to be delivered to schools back on Earth
The Travel Bug is riding along with Mastracchio on an educational mission. He’ll use the Travel Bug as a tool to teach kids back on Earth about geography and science.
The Travel Bug is scheduled to return to Earth when Mastracchio finishes his six-month mission aboard the International Space Station.
The previous Travel Bug Richard Garriott carried to the space station remained on-board the ISS for three years. It accumulated more than 350 million miles as it orbited the Earth. That Travel Bug returned to Earth by one of the last U.S. Shuttle missions to visit the International Space Station.
Watch the video of Richard Garriott’s mission to space. Leave your best wishes for Rick Mastracchio below in comments.