Triumphant Return of MassMutual Jr. Astronauts!
Interstellar Exploration It Is Possible!

August 15, 2016 Hong Kong

The MassMutual Jr. Space Camp 2016, exclusively sponsored and organized by MassMutual Asia Ltd. (MassMutual Asia), has achieved yet another successful touchdown. The eight MassMutual Jr. Astronauts—Ceiran Chan, Karson Chan, Wai To Cheung, Christina Chu, Billy Gao, Lewis James Gilbert and Christy Lee—have returned from their nine-day space-exploration journey, after successfully completing their missions at the US Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
To mark the triumphant return of the Jr. Astronauts, MassMutual Asia today held a Celebration Ceremony in their honor. Program patrons, including Ms Chea Shuk Mui, Candy, Ten Outstanding Young Persons Awardee and Media Veteran; Ir Dr The Hon Raymond Ho Chung Tai, SBS, MBE, SBStJ., JP; and Mr J.P. Lee, SBS, OBE, JP, Chairman, Agency for Volunteer Service attended the ceremony to share the joy of the eight Jr. Astronauts.

In their specially designed costumes with LED lights, the Jr. Astronauts thrilled the guests with a rhythmic Space Dance performance, shedding light on the opening of the Ceremony. The eight revealed that it is not easy to move around in the dark in these costumes, it is imaginable that the great challenge an astronaut has to face when exploring space in zero gravity in a full space suit! They also said that taking part in the MassMutual Jr. Space Camp Program and undergoing training just like real astronauts was a dream come true, as it provided opportunities that not only satisfied their curiosity about space exploration, but also enriched their knowledge of advanced space technology.

Their space-exploration journey offered the eight Jr. Astronauts practical as well as theoretical training, greatly enriching their knowledge of advanced space technology. Starting off at the US Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, the Jr. Astronauts experienced a range of simulated astronaut training and activities, including moonwalking in the "1/6 Gravity Trainer" and riding on the "Multi-axis Trainer" to experience the sensation of weightlessness and free movement in space. They were also hooked up to the "Manned Maneuvering Unit", which gave them the experience of performing virtual missions outside the orbiting space shuttle. Meanwhile the Jr. Astronauts had the opportunity to produce their own working scale-model rocket.

In the second part of the trip, the team arrived at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, getting a rare chance to closely inspect a real Saturn V rocket, the space-shuttle launch pads, and the actual Space Shuttle Atlantis, as well as to be observers at the stimulated launch of a space shuttle blasting off into earth orbit. The Jr. Astronauts also had the opportunity to meet and learn about the experiences of two veteran astronauts: Robert L. Gibson, who flew on five space missions and investigated the Challenger disaster in 1986; and Richard A. Searfoss, a space shuttle pilot who carried out a series of medical experiments in space.

The journey was an unforgettable experience for the Jr. Astronauts as they were able to explore various horizon-broadening exercises, including performing the work of real astronauts, challenging themselves with multiple space-related missions, and studying the important milestones in space exploration. At the same time, the participating parents expressed their great satisfaction at forming stronger bonds with their children. Through continuous encouragement, they accomplished demanding missions together with their children, while witnessing positive changes in the Jr. Astronauts—the growth of their perseverance, self-confidence and inquisitiveness. Thanks to their strong team spirit, the Jr. Astronauts were also presented with the “Best Mission” award, being the fastest team to accomplish their mission on the "Manned Maneuvering Unit".

Ms Jeanne Sau, Program Commander and Chief Marketing Officer of MassMutual Asia said, “The eight Jr. Astronauts put up a brilliant performance and demonstrated their ability to complete various challenges while at the US Space Camp. Their journey delivers an important message: everything is possible as long as one dares to dream and take on challenges. By exclusively sponsoring and organizing the MassMutual Jr. Space Camp, we hope to advocate the positive spirit of “It is Possible!”, a motivation that nurtures the next generation and encourages them to reach out for their dreams.”

The MassMutual Jr. Space Camp Program is the pioneering program providing simulated astronaut training to children from Hong Kong and Macau. Through its all-rounded, innovative and one-of-a-kind training experiences, the Program is designed to kindle children’s interest in space exploration and advanced technology. The Program promotes the “It is Possible!” spirit, encouraging children to dare to take on challenges when going after their dreams. At the same time, it strengthens the parent-child bond through a series of parent-child collaboration activities. Since its commencement, the Program has already created opportunities for self-breakthroughs for more than 20,000 children in Hong Kong and Macau.

MassMutual Asia Ltd. is a member of the MassMutual Financial Group. Headquartered in Hong Kong, MassMutual Asia has some 2,800 consultants. The company delivers professional one-stop risk- and wealth-management consulting services, including a series of flexible and innovative life insurance products, retirement plans, and investment services. Besides the life insurance business, MassMutual Asia also operates several subsidiaries in Hong Kong, including MassMutual Trustees Ltd., which focuses on MPF, and MassMutual Insurance Consultants Ltd., which handles general insurance.

MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing designation for the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliates. With US$642 billion1 in assets under management and 13 million customers, MassMutual Financial Group is a global, growth-oriented and diversified financial-services organization. Established in 1851, MassMutual enjoys exceptionally high financial ratings from major ratings agencies, including A.M. Best Company "A++" (Superior; top category of 15), Fitch Ratings "AA+" (Very Strong; second category of 21) and Standard & Poor's "AA+" rating (Very Strong; second category of 21)2 and is ranked by FORTUNE as one of the “Five Largest US Life Insurance Companies”3 and “FORTUNE World’s Most Admired Companies”4.

1. Figure as of December 31, 2015.
2. Ratings apply to Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, C.M. Life Insurance Company and MML Bay State Life Insurance Company. Ratings are as of August 1, 2016 and are subject to change.
3. Ranked according to the aggregate results of [Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual)] and [Insurance: Life, Health (Stock)] on the total revenues for 2015, based on the FORTUNE 500 as published on June 15, 2016.
4. Ranked according to the results in “Life and Health Insurance” category in the 2014 FORTUNE World’s Most Admired Companies survey. The survey assessed nine reputation drivers considered to be crucial to a company’s global success: financial soundness, long-term investment value, people management, social responsibility, use of assets, quality of management, quality of products/services, innovation and global competiveness.

Mr. K. P. Tay (third row, center), Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of MassMutual Asia, Ms. Jeanne Sau, Chief Marketing Officer (third row, right 1), patrons, honorable guests and the eight Jr. Astronauts attended the Celebration Ceremony.

The eight Jr. Astronauts meet with and learn from the experience of Richard A. Searfoss, a NASA astronaut who carried out innovative medical experiments in space.

In the "Manned Maneuvering Unit", the Jr. Astronauts execute a space-shuttle mission and successfully land it back on earth.

Tumbling and spinning in the “Multi-Axis Trainer” gives Jr. Astronauts the sensation of weightlessness and free movement in space.

Together with their parents, the Jr. Astronauts learn about aerodynamics while constructing a working model rocket.

Imbued with the spirit of “It is Possible!” the eight Jr. Astronauts celebrate meeting the challenges of their 9-day Space Exploration Journey.