Smokey Bear becomes next space crew's mascot
STAR CITY, Russia - The Associated Press
AP photoAn American set to travel to the International Space Station says he has chosen Smokey the Bear as his crew's mascot.
NASA astronaut Joseph Acaba said Wednesday that he hopes Smokey, the mascot of the United States Forest Service, would help raise public awareness about the dangers posed by forest fires.
Acaba and his Russian crewmates Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin are set to blast off to the station on May 15 from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The retirement of the U.S. shuttle fleet has left Russia's Soyuz spacecraft as the only means to deliver crews to the space outpost.