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Kids Turn Toy News

Star Hopper Board Game Available For Upcoming Space Missions

Star Hopper Game

Prepare children for the 2015 and 2037 journeys in a fun way!

New York, NY -- February 9, 2009 -- The National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have manned moon missions planned for six years from now. The NASA program is launching a new class of spaceship called Constellation -- its launch vehicle dubbed Ares, and its lunar lander named Orion. The Constellation missions will begin the process of establishing our first off-world colony, a sustainable lunar base that will then aid in the launching of the first manned mission to Mars in only 28 years.

To help children appreciate and learn about space exploration and colonization, Strategic Space will be publishing a new board game for children as young as six: Star Hopper. The game includes colored dice, spaceship pawns, and a star card deck and board representing 107 real stars. Using simple color- and number-matching skills, children will also learn strategy while being exposed to the names of stars in our galactic neighborhood, including the three closest: Alpha Centauri, Barnardís Star, and Wolf 359.

The star cards include a starís more common name and a rough image of the stellar components. For example, Alpha Centauri, our closest neighbor, is actually three stars moving together -- a yellow dwarf like our sun, a smaller orange dwarf, and a much smaller red dwarf that is the closest to us of the three. The bigger educational component is the 48-page companion book that comes with the game.

The first two pages cover the game rules, and then a magazine format gives further details about each of the 107 stars, maps to help find the star in the sky, glossaries of special terms used in astronomy and astrophysics, and a variety of short articles:

  • a scale comparison of planets and stars
  • an explanation of how we name planets and stars
  • alternative ways that stars die
  • methods we use to detect new planets
  • an essay on speeds and distances in space

Once players know the rules, they donít need to refer to the book, but itís there for the curious.

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For more information about Star Hopper, as well as more images and lesson-planning tips for teachers, please visit: