A Geocaching in Space Event Owner’s Guide to the Galaxy

(Click for German Language Version)

smaller geocaching in space image

Whether you’re watching the rocket launch live or celebrating the spirit of exploration afterward, you’re part of a global community of adventurers commemorating a big day in geocaching history. Find and share your event now through this interactive global map. We’re here to help connect your event to the worldwide geocaching community and make it a success.

When is the Launch:

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

Where to Watch the Launch on the Web:

NASA Television: coverage of the launch begins an hour before liftoff.

NASA TV iPhone App

NASA TV Android App

What Else to Watch at Your Event:

How to Celebrate:

New Limited-Edition Geocaching in Space Mission Patch
New Limited-Edition Geocaching in Space Mission Patch

Order and show off your new Geocaching in Space Mission Patch. All proceeds from the sale of the patch will be donated to the educational charity Donorschoose.org. And of course, you should go geocaching after the event.

Who to Invite:

Reach out to the local community to join in the historic event and the adventure of geocaching. Use the text below as a guide when posting the event to local blogs, sending the announcement to newspapers, or alerting the media about your unique event.

Join a celebration of the spirit of exploration ________ night/morning. A symbol of exploration and adventure rockets into space on (insert local time). It’s known as a Geocaching Travel Bug®. An astronaut is taking the Travel Bug to the International Space Station and will use the it to teach students back on Earth about geography and science. A group of local adventurers, known as geocachers, will be hosting an event to watch the rocket launch live. They’re joining geocachers at more than 1000 geocaching events around the world celebrating the launch. Everyone is welcome to join in the celebration.

Meet at __________ at ______________ to witness a moment in history, watch a rocket launch and maybe experience the adventure of geocaching afterward.

Please go to Geocaching.com, sign-in or sign-up and RSVP to (your Event URL) so we know to expect you.

What if the launch is delayed?

Still hold your event, watch some of the other videos, earn your souvenir and celebrate the spirit of exploration from Geocaching in Space.


Check out the Geocaching in Space FAQ


800+ Events Celebrate Geocaching Launch into Space

New Geocaching in Space Mission Patch
New Geocaching in Space Mission Patch

It’s the Travel Bug® that’s taking the global Geocaching community on a rocket ride to space.  Whether you’re in Mexico or France, Australia or Korea you’re primed to join the geocaching community in celebrating the spirit of exploration. There are more than 800 Geocaching in Space events scheduled around the world. Those who attend Event Caches on either November 6 or November 7 earn the Geocaching in Space souvenir.

Join the adventure and watch the launch live as Astronaut Rick Mastracchio packs the Travel Bug along on his 6 month mission aboard the International Space Station. He’ll use the Travel Bug as a tool to teach students back on earth about geography and science. Geocaching HQ is offering a limited edition Geocaching in Space Mission Patch. Geocaching will donate proceeds from the patch to Donorschoose.org for use in funding projects that use geocaching as an educational tool.

Geocaching in Space Event Owners: Be on the lookout for an email from Geocaching HQ later this week. We’ll serve up details on how to watch the launch live, how to connect with the 800+ events around the world and how to celebrate afterwards (hint: geocaching).


Behind the Scenes: My Travel Bug®’s Mission to Space

Guest Blog Post By Robert Cizaukas (Username: Cizzors)

The students from Waterbury’s Chase Elementary School, the same school Astronaut Rick Mastracchio’s graduated from.

This journey all began on August 29, 2013. I read a story in the Waterbury Republican American Newspaper titled, “Waterbury native to spend 6 months out of this world”. It was an interesting story about a Waterbury Public School graduate, Rick Mastracchio (Username: AstroRM) who had become an astronaut and was headed to the International Space Station (ISS) in November 2013. I had never met Mr. Mastracchio, but had previously read about his accomplishments. Later that day, I was out geocaching with my brother-in-law, Tony Jannetty (Username: DavidPuddy) working on the 31 Days of Geocaching streak when the newspaper article about Mastracchio came up in conversation. We had previously talked at length about the ISS geocache and the Travel Bug® that had been there. Tony said that he had an idea that he thought I should pursue: If I could get Mastracchio to take a Travel Bug up to the ISS,  it could be an inspirational and educational opportunity for the children of Waterbury – a once in a life time experience with space travel and geography. We brainstormed what the program would look like and how we would find a way to contact Mastracchio to pitch the idea to him.

Robert Cizauskas, aka Cizzors.

I had a lot of interest. I was born and raised in Waterbury, Connecticut and graduated from the public school system. Waterbury is a city that faces many of the same problems that other urban areas around the United States experience, including in its public school system. As a City of Waterbury Police Officer, I have the opportunity to currently serve as the Lieutenant in charge of the Waterbury Police Activity League (PAL). Waterbury PAL is a nonprofit organization run by police officers designed to promote partnerships between law enforcement, the community and youth through educational, recreational and athletic activities. I have used geocaching as an interesting way to engage the at-risk youth that we service.

To get in touch with Mastracchio, I began to doing online research and asked around. Through a co-worker that had gone to school with a relative of Mastracchio, I was able to get in contact with him. Mastracchio was interested in finding a new way to engage children in his mission and  began emailing me directly with questions about geocaching and Travel Bugs. Finally, Mastracchio informed me that he would take the Travel Bug with him to the ISS. Mastracchio was excited to use this Travel Bug as an educational tool and had many of his own ideas on how to make this project even more exciting for the children participating in the project. I had originally planned to work with Waterbury’s Chase Elementary School on this project because Mastracchio had graduated from this elementary school and I thought this could be a truly inspirational project for the children of that school to know that through hard work anything is possible. I activated the Travel Bug (TB5JJN1) and took it to the school for pictures with the kids. I explained the project to the children and teachers and, shortly after, sent the Travel Bug to Mastracchio.

Mastracchio came up with an idea of adding 11 hitchhiker tags labeled “Exp 38” to represent Expedition 38, the mission that he was taking the Travel Bug® on. Mastracchio wanted to add 10 additional schools and give each school a hitchhiker from the Travel Bug® that had been to the ISS. I contacted additional schools about the project and visited classrooms to explain what we were planning. All of the schools quickly signed on to be part of this once in a lifetime experience.

The Expedition 38 crew. Astronaut Rick Mastracchio is third from the left in the back row.

To make this an interactive experience for the children involved, Mastracchio took pictures of the Travel Bug® along the way and posted them online for the students involved to see where the Travel Bug® had traveled and to engage them in classroom discussions about the locations and significance to space travel. Students have also been posting their own pictures and questions on the Travel Bug page. Mastracchio took the time to view the page and answer questions about NASA, Space Travel, and the ISS. Mastracchio is scheduled to launch from Russia on November 6, 2013 at approximately 11 pm ET, and I expect all of the excitement related to this project to continue for the entire six months that he is on the ISS.

Geocaching has decided to award a souvenir to anyone that attends a Geocaching in Space event on November 6th or 7th. I setup the first of over 500 Geocaching in Space Events around the world in Waterbury (GC4PEVR). These events will be an excellent way to celebrate the launch of Mastracchio and the Travel Bug®. Mastracchio commented that all of the attention the expedition was getting  from geocachers is “incredible”.

The International Space Station Travel Bug II (TB5JJN1), by the 5th Grade Class of Chase Elementary School-Waterbury, CT

An amazing and unexpected part of this project has been the notes that geocachers from around the world have posted to Mastracchio and the students on the Travel Bug® page. The students involved have been reading these posts regularly in their classrooms and have been learning about each country the geocachers are from. Many of the posts are in languages other than English, which is offering additional learning opportunities for the students as they decipher what is posted. The teachers and students have embraced this project, making cards, posters and pictures that we have posted to the Travel Bug® page for everyone to see.

From the very beginning, Tony and I envisioned that this project would be an educational opportunity for one urban school of children to learn that, through hard work and dedication, anything can be accomplished, like Mastracchio has proven. Mastracchio will use the Travel Bug® to teach the students about what he does, so it might inspire some young person to strive for something he or she never expected they might be capable of. This Travel Bug® project continues to exceed our expectations as more and more countries from around the world become involved. I am very thankful to Mastracchio, Geocaching HQ, Tony, the Waterbury Public School System, and geocachers around the world for supporting this educational effort. Everyone involved is elated in anticipation of this Travel Bug® launching to the ISS, and are extremely excited to see this epic geocaching adventure unfold.

See you on the trails……


Get Involved!

Follow Rick Mastracchio on Twitter

Attend a Geocaching in Space Event (Events vary between November 6 and November 7 depending on your global location)

Leave a message of support for Rick Mastracchio and to the students in Connecticut on the Travel Bug page – and read messages between the two.  

Want to know more? Check out the Geocaching in Space FAQ and  Geocaching into Space Event Center.

Any other questions or comments? Ask away in the comments below!


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.




Geocaching Rockets into Space (Again)

WeeklyMailer_100713_GeocachingInSpace_vFINAL_blog (1)[Click for information on the Seattle Geocaching in Space Event]

You don’t read the words, “We’re going to space!” very often. So, how about we soak up the joy of reading those words once more? Let’s add a little pizzazz and shout it by using all capital letters: “WE’RE GOING TO SPACE!” Yeah! A Geocaching Travel Bug® is hitching a ride with astronaut Rick Mastracchio straight to the International Space Station. The mission is currently scheduled to launch from Kazakhstan at 4:08 GMT on November 7, which is 5:08 a.m. in Berlin and November 6 at 8:08 p.m. in Los Angeles. (Convert to your time here.)

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

Rick will live aboard the ISS for 6 months. He plans to use the Travel Bug as a tool to teach students on Earth, in his home state of Connecticut, about geography and science. He’ll also earn the Solar System’s most elusive smiley and find the International Space Station geocache.

We’ll be following Rick the whole way, beginning at liftoff. Ready for some more pizzazz? Geocaching HQ will issue a Geocaching in Space souvenir to those who attend Event Caches during the launch. You can watch the launch live online or check out the recording later and celebrate the geocaching community’s spirit of exploration.

Find out answers to frequently asked questions and everything you need to know about hosting a Geocaching in Space event at the Geocaching in Space Event Center. We’ll be updating this blog post with the latest information about the launch as it happens. All Event Caches must be submitted at least two weeks before the scheduled launch date of November 6. For more information on Geocaching in Space and Rick’s mission, visit the Geocaching in Space FAQ.

Check out this vintage Geocaching video of the first Travel Bug journey to space.