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A Good Boy in Space

October 3, 2018

Seaman Jr., NASA’s canine explorer, launched to the International Space Station on June 29 aboard the 15th Dragon resupply mission. Let’s learn a little more about our pupstronaut.

Who is Seaman Jr.?

A toy dog named Seaman Jr., representing the Newfoundland that accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition in the 1800's. Seaman Jr. is headed to the International Space Station this summer to help celebrate NASA’s 60th. (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)
Seaman Jr. is a stuffed animal named for the Newfoundland waterdog Seaman who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition to explore and map the Louisiana Territory. On the orders of President Thomas Jefferson, Seaman trekked almost 8,000 miles, serving as a watchdog, hunter and loyal friend during the expedition. Upon completion of his journey, Seaman was given a collar that read “the greatest traveler of my species.” Seaman Jr. wears a collar with the same marking on his space mission.

What has he done in space?

Here I am with the spacesuit I learned about at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Astronauts wear suits like these for spacewalks. Credit: NASA/Ashley Moreno and Megan Sumner
Seaman Jr. has been writing weekly blog posts to document the training and preparation that went into his mission. Seaman Jr. visited all 10 NASA centers and NASA Headquarters to train for his mission, and is now using the skills developed on Earth to identify the trails traveled on the Lewis and Clark expedition and spot as many cats as he can from the space station.

Where did he find a passion for space exploration?

NASA/Ashley Moreno and Megan Sumner
Seaman has always loved an expedition, but fell in love with space while traveling across the country with his four siblings, who are recreating the trail of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Along the journey he stopped at Johnson, where he met flight controllers in mission control, sparking his desire to bark back from space.

When did he start his mission?

NASA/Wendy Neuerberg
Seaman launched to Station on June 29, aboard the 15th Dragon resupply mission. Before he launched, he made stops at seven NASA centers to learn about the science being done on station, astronaut training, commercial vehicles and the science behind launch.

Why is he completing this mission?

NASA/Tiffany Blake
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System, five special (toy) dogs, the Lewis and Clark Pups, will travel in the paws of their ancestor Seaman, dog of Meriwether Lewis. The pups will travel more than 3,700 miles to complete their mission to commemorate and protect the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. They will be joined by Seaman Jr., who will complete his portion of the mission on the International Space Station. 

How can I keep up with Seaman Jr.?

Mission Patch
Stay up to date with Seaman by following his blog HERE.

Noah Michelsohn
NASA Johnson Space Center