Geocaching has become a popular “treasure hunt” activity around the world. Small stashes of miscellaneous items are hidden in containers in over 2.25 million spots around the globe and their locations archived at www.Geocaching.com. Participants use their GPS units to find a cache, which might be by a waterfall in a forest or behind a telephone pole along a city street. The geocacher can take an item from the cache but they should replace it with some new item.
Geocaching has now extended from earth into space: Geocaching in Space FAQ – The Geocaching Blog.
In 2008, Richard Garriott placed a small cache on the International Space Station during his visit there. This evening, a Soyuz with three new ISS crew members will blast off and arrive at the station in the morning. They include US astronaut Rick Mastracchio who will be carrying a Travel Bug Dog Tag. A travel bug is a Trackable item that simply has an ID that is registered at www.geocaching.com and as it is moved from cache to cache, the movers write about the tag’s travels on the website. Garriott left one on the station and Mastracchio will take a new one that is sponsored by the 5th grade class of Chase Elementary School in Waterbury, Connecticut and add it to the cached on the station. He will, however, return it to the class when he returns from space in six months.
For more details see:
- Astronaut taking treasure-hunt ‘travel bug’ to space station – collectSPACE
- (TB5JJN1) Travel Bug Dog Tag – International Space Station Travel Bug II by the 5th Grade Class of Chase Elementary School-Waterbury, CT
- Waterbury PAL – Waterbury PAL partnering with the City of Waterbury Education Department and Geocaching.com to provide an educational program with Astronaut Rick Mastracchio