Under the Stars

Thank you!

Thank you for joining U.S. Borax on a different space mission each week this summer. We hope you spent memorable, quality time with your family learning about the skies above us.

Winners were notified via email the week of August 24, 2020. Congratulations to all who have won!

Although the prizes may have been awarded, you can still travel through space with us!

   Congratulations to our winners!

Celestron Telescope

Mike A.
Nicole B.
Betty M.
Anna S.
Adam P.

NASA Space Store Vouchers

Jose B.
Chris C.
Jana C.
Paul C.
Michael D.
Chris J.
Emma J.
Kaci J.
Jose P.

Celestron Stargazing Binoculars

Gary H.
Gabriella H.
Devin K.
Victoria R.
Alexis V.

Spacecraft Lego Kits

Brian C.
Emily F.
Elizabeth G.
Simone H.
Crystal L.
Gerald R.
Carlene S.
Victor S.

Astronomy Memberships

Keerthana B.
Nola D.
Matthew G.
Brooke H.
Steve H.
Daniel J.
Deborah K.
Aaron M.
Grace M.
Danielle P.
Yukiko P.
Tim Q.
Bhoomi S.
Carlene S.
Monica S.
Shyla S.
Michelle T.
Angalisa V.
Carolyn W.

How It Works

Although the competition for space prizes is over, you can still participate in these challenges. Simply click each challenge, watch the video, and complete the missions on your own. Answers can be found by clicking on the answers button located at the bottom of each page.

Challenge Schedule

Challenge 1: The Moon
Challenge 2: The International Space Station


Challenge 3: Our Galaxy
Challenge 4: The Constellations

Bonus Review Questions

About Benoît Laplante, our commander

Benoît Laplante has been part of the Rio Tinto team for more than 30 years and is currently a Procurement Business Partner for Rio Tinto. In addition to his career in corporate purchasing administration, he has had a completely different journey since 1998 in the wonderful world of space, where he is a space mission specialist and pilot.

This passion for aviation and space has been passed down from father to son. Benoît grew up during the first space flight programs in the United States—the Mercury and Gemini missions which enabled NASA to make its first spacewalks. From an early aged he was interested in rockets and lunar modules and dreamed of going into space as an astronaut, but it seemed out of reach. So, he turned to a professional career in administration. But fate had other plans!

In 1996, Benoît met Chris Hadfield, an astronaut from Canada, on an airplane flight. The Canadian astronaut was returning from his first space mission, which was docking the American shuttle Atlantis with the Russian space station Mir. He was the first Canadian mission specialist to visit Mir station. The two space enthusiasts immediately bonded and developed a solid friendship. In fact, it was Chris who proposed that Benoît become an ambassador for space missions. Benoît did not hesitate for a second to accept! In order to accept the role, he had to obtain his commercial pilot license and study aerospace engineering at the University of Texas. He accomplished all of this, while still continuing his job with Rio Tinto.

Thanks, Commander Ben!

U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 650 customers with more than 1,800 delivery locations globally. We supply around 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.  Learn more about Rio Tinto.

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