POSTED: 04:07 a.m. HST, Mar 22, 2011
PRAGUE >> Little Mole, a cartoon hero for many children, will join astronauts aboard NASA’s shuttle Endeavour.
The 19-centimeter (7.5-inch) toy version of the character, created by Czech animator Zdenek Miler, has been chosen to accompany U.S. astronaut Andrew Feustel on Endeavour’s last mission as NASA ends its shuttle program.
Feustel’s wife, Indira, is partly of Czech origin.
Little Mole, created by Miler in Prague in 1956, has appeared in many cartoons and is popular among children in Eastern Europe and countries such as Germany, Austria, China and India.
Czech scientists and officials at American Center in Prague said Tuesday the goal is to draw the attention of young people to space flights and astronomy.
Endeavour with the Little Mole aboard is due to blast off April 19.