Geocaching in Space FAQ

WeeklyMailer_100713_GeocachingInSpace_vFINAL_blog (1)Geocaching is heading towards the International Space Station (ISS). All of geocaching? No, not all of it, but a very special little Travel Bug® named TB5JJN1 is tagging along with Nasa astronaut Rick Mastracchio on his mission to the ISS. Mastracchio will be using the Travel Bug as an educational tool to help teach students around the world about geography and geocaching. Mastraccio will Rocket into Space on November 7, 2013 (GMT). Every geocacher who attends a Geocaching Event on November 6 or 7, 2013 will be awarded a “Geocaching in Space” souvenir. In additional, Geocaching in Space Mission Patches will be sold, and proceeds will to the educational charity DonorsChoose.org.

You probably have a few questions about Geocaching in Space. For answers to your questions go to the Geocaching in Space Event Center , or check out the FAQs below. If you still have questions, let us know in the comments or visit Geocaching.com/help.

1. What is Geocaching in Space?

Check out our blog post here: Geocaching Rockets into Space (Again)

2. When is the spacecraft currently scheduled to launch?

November 7 at 04:08 a.m. GMT – Convert to your time zone here

3. How do I find an Event Cache near me? 

The local times for the launch depend on where in the world you’re watching. Find Event Caches on November 6 or November 7. Don’t see an event near you? Submit a Geocaching in Space Event Cache up to two weeks before the schedule launch.

4. How can I keep getting updates on the mission?

You can follow the Travel Bug® here by adding it to your watchlist, follow Geocaching on Facebook, Twitter and Google + for updates as they happen.

5. Is there a way to watch the space craft launch live?

NASA TV will broadcast the launch live. You can download a free NASA TV app for Android or iPhone, watch NASA TV live on their website www.NASA.gov, or watch the launch on the NASA channel on your cable TV. More questions? Check out NASA TV FAQs here.

6. Who is the Astronaut that is bringing the Travel Bug® to the ISS?

Astronaut Richard Mastracchio (Source: Nasa)
Astronaut Richard Mastracchio (Source: Nasa)

Rick Mastraccio is an experienced NASA astronaut. He is currently training for his third travel to the ISS. He will be the Flight Engineer for the team. His geocaching name is AstroRM and we think he’s pretty cool.

7. Do I have to attend an official space event, to receive the “Geocaching in Space” souvenir ?

No. If you log your “Attended” for any geocaching event, that is held on November 6th or November 7th 2013 and listed on Geocaching.com, you will receive the souvenir. Events on both days will help commemorate Geocaching in Space.

8. I am the host, will I get the souvenir too?

Yes. Even though we discourage geocache owners to log their own geocaches, it is completely fine to log an “Attended” on your own geocaching event. You deserve it!

9. What if the launch date changes?

As this is a  real rocket launch, the launch date could change. In this case we’ll issue the souvenir for attending an event on November 6 or 7. The same souvenir will also be awarded for events on the the actual launch date.

10. Is there a geocache close to the rocket launch?

Geocache location near rocket launch site
Geocache location near rocket launch site

Yep. There is a geocache located at the Russian Rocket Base in Central Asia close by. It is called Poyekhali. It currently has 4 finds.

11. Is there a geocache at the International Space Station?

Yes, indeed there is. Video game developer Richard Garriott had a dream come true, when he was travelling to the ISS and hid a geocache there in 2010. Astronaut Rick Mastraccio (AstroRM) will be claiming the FTF over three years after this geocache was hidden.

12. What are the coordinates of the International Space Station Cache?

As the geocache on the ISS orbits the earth 15 times every day, it was a challenge to find coordinates for this one-of-a-kind geocache. The geocache owner decided to use coordinates in Kazakhstan close to the Russian Rocket Base from which the spacecraft will be launching.



When I'm outside I'm happy. Besides geocaching I love gardening, hiking, cooking and spending time with my wonderful two and four legged friends. Got eight legs? Sorry, but please stay far away from me!
  • Michael Franks

    London Event Cache GC4PVV7 already published

  • Excellent Michael! Can’t wait to share the experience with y’all from here in Seattle, WA.

  • Suurnesu

    Regarding FAQ #7. I believe that event host can log “attended”, get a souvenir, and then chande “attended” to “note”. That’s what I think I will do. I don’t feel comfortable logging my own cache as found even though it is an event.

  • Jan Liska

    Great idea!
    Like almost on every occasion the usual Groundspeak bashers are already having their fun about it in the german forum. Oh well, can´t help these people…

  • Bajatym

    is there a way to watch the launch live on the internet if we have our event at that time? that would be fun

  • Kris

    Hi Eric,
    On Nov 7th CET I will be in the air travelling from one contnent to another. Probably several geocachers will be in a similar case.
    Is it an option to set up an event, where ‘attending’ can be done by posting a copy of your boarding pass? As the TB is also in the same ‘space’ ….
    Thanks for a reply

  • Here you go: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/#.UmGrp_mkog4 Coverage will begin about an hour before the launch, and get this, there’s even an App for that. Check out the NASA TV App.

  • Hmmm… Good question. I’ll have to check with the powers that be, about etiquette for this. Let me check and get back you. Some expectation management, odds are probably slim. Could you host an event in a publicly accessible airport lounge on a layover?

  • kripau

    Eric, hosting an event in the public area of Brussels airport looks not feasible for me. Once you are in, the major goal is to pass the security checks (there can be quit some queuing). We have a connection later on Madrid but also there we are in the transit area and time is limited.
    Do you have already feedback from ‘above’ about the virtual event?

  • Mike McGhie

    Exciting times when a travel bug goes to space. This is fantastic. Thank you to the kids of Chase Elementary School for this. What are you kids going to do after it gets home? It sure would be nice to make it to Fairbanks Alaska. God Speed
    Rick Mastracchio

  • David

    “He is currently training for his third travel to the ISS.” It is actually his 4th trip to the ISS. 🙂