Smokey Bear Celebrates 68th Birthday At Mission Control

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online

On August 9 Smokey Bear is turning 68. NASA, the US Forest Service (USFS), the Texas Forest Service and Smokey Bear are getting together to celebrate Smokey´s day at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The well liked mascot will tour the center and will record a promotional announcement for NASA Television to air later in August, 2012.

Representing the Advertising Council Inc.´s longest running public service campaign, Smokey Bear is the USFS symbol for wildland fire prevention.

On May 14, Smokey went on his International Space Station tour, about 250 miles above earth. No bear had ever gone here before. A small Smokey doll, the teams´ mascot, joined astronaut Joe Acaba and the Expedition 31 crew. Celebrations for Smokey´s birthday will be held on ground Thursday.

NASA´s partnership with the USFS was started back in 1971 when Stuart Roosa, an Apollo 14 astronaut and former Forest Service smokejumper, orbited the moon with a pack of seeds as a part of joint NASA/USFS project. Around the country and around the world, the ℠moon trees´ were planted (many for the nation’s bicentennial in 1976). The trees stand today as a mark of respect to Roosa and the Apollo program.

NASA and the USFS signed a SpaceAct Agreement this year that unites the two agencies in raising awareness about the importance of fire prevention and fire safety. For more information about the NASA-USFS and International Space Station connection, visit