NASA astronaut Joseph Acaba who is set to travel to the International Space Station on Wednesday said he has chosen Smokey the Bear as the mascot for the new crew .
Acaba said he will hang the toy bear on board the spacecraft and use it as weightlessness indicator, the astronaut said at a press conference in Moscow Region’s Zvezdny Gorodok.
Aacaba added that he hopes Smokey, the mascot of the United States Forest Service, would help raise public awareness of the dangers posed by forest fires.
Acaba and his Russian crewmates Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin are set to blast off to the station on May 15 from the Russian-leased Baikonur launching site in Kazakhstan.
Padalka said he will take an iPad and an iPod. “They have all I need – music and films,” he said.