Woof, fellow earthlings! This is Seaman Jr., writing from space!
Right now, I’m aboard the International Space Station, a giant laboratory that circles the Earth at more than 17,000 miles per hour! Some said that a small and fuzzy toy like me could never be an astronaut, but I’m no ordinary stuffed animal.
My journey to space started over 200 years ago, long before my time. You see, the original Seaman was the greatest canine explorer of all time. On the orders of President Thomas Jefferson, he trekked almost 8,000 miles through the wilderness with the Lewis and Clark expedition.
The team travelled west for two long years, using science to study the animals, plants, weather, and landscapes along the way. While the explorers studied their surroundings, Seaman served cheerfully as a watchdog, hunter, and loyal friend.
The expedition faced many dangers, including harsh winters, rugged terrain, and hostile animals. Luckily, they found lots of help along the way. Through teamwork with Sacagawea and other Native Americans, Seaman and his pals safely reached the Pacific Ocean in 1805!
Looking down at America, I can see the route Seaman took, which is now called the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. It stretches all the way from Illinois to Oregon, but state borders aren’t visible from here. Instead, I see the vast forests, rivers, and mountains that Seaman bravely crossed before reaching the Pacific Ocean.
For his heroism, the original Seaman was given a collar that said, “The greatest traveler of my species.” Because we share a name, NASA thought I would also be brave, smart, and eager to serve with people from many cultures. That’s why they sent me to explore the next frontier: space! Now, as a pupstronaut, I’m working hard to prove myself worthy of the name Seaman Jr.
Soon, I’ll be sending you more reports from space along with journal entries from my intense training at different NASA centers and other National Trails.
Stay tuned, and keep exploring!
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.
As they make their stops they will be reporting back in on their adventures. Follow Rocky, Harper, Dakota, Keelieand Seaman Jr. at: https://www.nps.gov/lecl/newfie-news.htm
Last updated: September 13, 2018