Best Space Toys for 7-Year-Olds: A Guide to Ignite Their Love for Science

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I’ve got a secret to share with you. Do you know what’s out of this world? Space toys for 7 year olds! They’re not just playthings, they’re gateways to galaxies far, far away. They spark curiosity, ignite imagination, and set the stage for a lifelong love of science and exploration.

From rocket ships to astronaut figures, there’s a universe of fun waiting for your little explorer. I’ll be your guide on this space odyssey, helping you navigate the cosmos of choices. Whether you’re on a mission to find the perfect birthday gift or simply want to surprise your kiddo with a toy that’s as educational as it is entertaining, you’re in the right place.

Table of Contents

Why Space Toys for 7 Year Olds are Out of This World

As your friendly guide, I’m here to tell you, space toys for 7-year-olds are truly out of this world . It’s not just about how cool they look or how much fun your kids have while playing with them. It’s about the far-reaching benefits they offer as well.

Space toys open new avenues of learning . They introduce kids to astronomy, physics, and even advanced concepts like quantum mechanics in a playful manner. For all those parents out there, wanting to nurture a little scientist in their family, remember, every great scientist once played with toys that aroused curiosity in them.

One feature of space toys that stands out is their power to ignite imagination . A simple astronaut figurine can make your child wonder about the mysteries of the cosmos, what it’s like to float in zero gravity, or how to hop around on the moon. Providing a tangible connection to something as vast and abstract as space makes it more accessible and exciting to young minds.

Playing with space toys stimulates creativity as well. A spaceship isn’t just a spaceship in the hands of a 7-year-old; it’s the centerpiece of unique, thrilling adventures waiting to unfold. Whether it’s about battling alien forces or exploring new planets, space toys enable children to create countless stories, fostering their narrative abilities and inventive thinking.

Parents, you’ll also find something to cherish in space toys. They’re a delightful way of fostering parent-child interaction . You can assemble a space station together, stargaze with a kid-friendly telescope, or simply lie down and imagine lunar landscapes. It’s not just about play; it’s about enjoying quality time together, nurturing bonds while you also fuel your child’s enthusiasm for the cosmos.

So it’s pretty clear, space toys for 7-year-olds are packed with boundless educational and interactive benefits. They offer a playtime that’s as much about fun as it is about fostering a love for science and exploration. As mentioned earlier, the market is vast and it’s okay to feel a bit overwhelmed. But fear not; in the upcoming sections, I’ll guide you through the best space toys available to ensure your space explorer gets their hands on something exciting and engaging.

Sparking Curiosity: The Importance of Space Toys in Child Development

Space toys offer an avenue for children to delve into the fascinating world of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). These toys go beyond just fun and games , they’re tools that can mold the young minds, instilling an early interest in the expansive Universe and the science that governs it.

Astronaut figurines, rocket ships, space stations – these thoughtfully designed toys bring the outer space down to earth! As kids embark on intergalactic missions in their imaginative play, they’re unknowingly refining important skills.

1. Cognitive Development

Children learn through play. Space toys encourage problem-solving, reasoning, and creativity . As kids figure out how to construct a rocket ship or navigate a space rover, they’re developing cognitive skills. This hands-on engagement makes learning fun and impactful for little astronauts!

2. Language Skills

Children often narrate their imaginative play. They’ll describe the far-flung planets they’re exploring, the aliens they meet, and the adventurous missions they undertake. This storytelling enhances their vocabulary, communication, and language skills, paving the way for stronger linguistic abilities.

3. Emotional and Social Skills

Space play often involves teamwork. Only together can they conquer the challenges of the cosmos. In the process, they learn to share, negotiate, lead, follow, empathize—essential social-emotional skills that form the foundation for successful interactions in their later life.

4. Parent-Child Bonding

Playing together with space toys affords quality parent-child time. It’s an opportunity for adults to ignite the spark of scientific inquiry in their young minds, addressing their queries, guiding them and watching them learn.

Now that we’ve discussed how space toys contribute to child development, let’s dive into the specific role-playing toys that can fuel your child’s curiosity, making them starry-eyed about the universe and beyond! There are a plethora of space toys out there, and I’ll guide you through some of the best on offer.

Exploring the Universe: Types of Space Toys Available

To truly reap the myriad of benefits that space toys provide, it’s essential to understand the various types of space toys available. From educational sets to intergalactic adventures, there’s a vast universe of options just waiting for your child to explore.

Telescopes and Astronomy Sets Nothing can compare to the thrill a child feels when they’re able to gaze upon the stars in their own backyard. Telescopes and astronomy sets allow them to do just that. These tools offer an element of realism and a truly interactive experience. They’re more than just toys – they’re educational tools that can bring the cosmos right to your child’s fingertips.

Space-Themed Games and Puzzles These may not seem like typical “space toys,” but space-themed games and puzzles are fantastic tools for cognitive development. They ignite imagination, challenge thinking, and enhance problem-solving skills. With fun, eye-catching designs featuring planets, stars, astronauts and spaceships, your child won’t even realize they’re learning.

Astronaut and Spacecraft Sets As it’s important to encourage pretend play, astronaut and spacecraft sets are perfect for this. They give children the chance to act out aspiring adventures and missions. It allows them to take on the role of an astronaut – fostering creativity, enhancing language skills, and promoting emotional and social skills.

Science Experiment Kits Each journey into space is an experiment of its own. Science experiment kits related to astronomy and space travel will give your child a hands-on learning experience. They’ll get the chance to explore various scientific principles and phenomena related to space.

One of the keys to harnessing the power of space toys is choosing items that align with your child’s interests and developmental stage. To make the best choice, remember to consider your child’s current abilities and comprehension levels as well as their willingness to learn and explore. With the right tools in hand, there’s no limit to the knowledge they can acquire.

The Best Space Toys for 7 Year Olds

Stepping into the world of 7 year olds, I’ll tell you that space toys are not just playthings but an opportunity to spark their curiosity. Here’s a list I’ve put together of the best space-themed toys that will engage and educate your 7 year olds.

Science Experiment Kits: A toy category that can truly captivate the young scientist. Kits such as the “Be Amazing! Toys Mars Mud Slimy” introduce kids to the fun side of science, all while developing observation and problem-solving skills.

Telescopes and Astronomy Sets: Nothing gets kids excited about space exploration quite like a telescope. The “NASA Lunar Telescope for Kids” is an excellent choice. It’s designed to be fun and easy to use, offering a clear view of the moon and its craters.

Space-Themed Games and Puzzles: Games and puzzles like the “Space Mission Game from Peaceable Kingdom” or the “Melissa & Doug Solar System Floor Puzzle” can keep their interest piqued while enhancing cognitive skills like critical thinking and memory.

Astronaut and Spacecraft Sets: LEGO never disappoints; their “NASA Mars Rover Perseverance & Ingenuity Helicopter” set is a kid’s favorite. This hands-on experience boosts creativity while educating them on past and current Mars missions.

Here’s a quick rundown:

With the right toys, 7 year olds can learn a lot about space and science. This age is ripe for fostering a love of astronomy, and these space toys are excellent tools to help guide them on this journey.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Space Toy

Choosing the perfect space toy for 7-year-olds might seem like a mission to Mars, but it’s not as hard as you think it’s. Accurate knowledge and a bit of care can make the choosing process a piece of cake.

Firstly , always ponder your child’s interests. If your little scientist is more into hands-on experiments, a space science kit might be an excellent choice. On the other hand, if they’re into role-play, astronaut and spacecraft sets could become their new playground. Remember, the best learning occurs when kids are fully engaged and enthusiastic.

Next , consider the toy’s educational value. Are there opportunities for your child to learn while playing? A Telescope and Astronomy Set can nourish the young astronomer in them by providing first-hand experiences of stargazing and celestial bodies. Likewise, space-themed puzzles or board games can enhance their logic and strategic thinking skills.

Thirdly , check the age appropriateness of the toy. Don’t forget, the manufacturers label toys for specific age groups to ensure safe and age-suitable learning. For instance , a space toy marked for 7-year-olds is tested and confirmed for safety standards for that age range.

Lastly , don’t overlook the toy’s quality. A toy with minimum choking hazards, sharp edges, and toxic materials is the one you’d like to introduce to your child. Choose a toy that is sturdy, long-lasting, and easy to clean.

Below is a simple table to guide you through the process:

Take time to understand these elements when you’re on your next space toy hunt. Remember, the goal is to spark your child’s interest in space and science, and nothing does better than a well-chosen, engaging space toy. Always make them feel that the sky is not the limit; it’s just the beginning. Rather than wrapping up our thoughts, we encourage readers to dive into the universe of more space toy options out there, making the most of their child’s learning journey.

Conclusion: Elevate Playtime with Space Toys for 7 Year Olds

Choosing the right space toy for your 7-year-old isn’t just about fun. It’s a chance to inspire a lifelong love for space and science. By considering your child’s interests and the toy’s educational value, you’re not just buying a toy. You’re investing in their future.

Remember, it’s not just about age appropriateness. Quality matters too. A well-made toy will stand up to the rigors of play and continue to engage your child’s interest.

So, don’t just settle for any toy. Choose a space toy that’ll ignite their curiosity and keep them learning. After all, playtime’s not just about fun. It’s also about discovery and learning. And with the right space toy, your 7-year-old’s playtime can be both.

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Best space toys and gifts for kids, 2024

Searching for a present for a young astro enthusiast? Our guide to the best space toys and gifts for kids may have exactly what you're looking for.

So many kids love space and astronomy, and it's not difficult to fathom why.

The Universe is an incredible place filled with awe-inspiring phenomena in the shape of galaxies, black holes, asteroids and strange planets orbiting distant stars.

Children are great at absorbing knowledge about space: facts about the Solar System, the history of spaceflight and the Apollo missions, the vastness of the cosmos.

This makes space-themed toys and astronomy gifts great for inspiring young minds and - who knows - encouraging the next generation of astronomers, astrophysicists and astronauts.

If you're on the hunt for space gifts and toys for children and young astronomers, take inspiration from our kids' gift guide below.

And if you're specifically looking for a telescope for a young astronomer, read our guide to the best telescopes for kids .

Jump to space toys for kids for:

Looking for a gift for older space fans? Read our guide to the best space gifts .

21 space toys and astronomy gift ideas for kids

Astronomy gift ideas for kids under £10, solar system stress balls.

Nine planet stress balls

Help your kids learn more about the Solar System with these squishy, bouncy stress balls. This nine-piece set includes soft foam balls that each depict the characteristics of the Solar System planets, enabling children to become familiar with the worlds of our cosmic neighbourhood.

Animals in the Sky

a journey into space toy

Help the little astronomer in your life learn the constellations. Each page of this book shows a star pattern alongside a clue of what it might depict, then unfolds to show which animal the stars are said to make.

NASA jigsaw

NASA jigsaw

An 1,000-piece NASA jigsaw for kids who love jigsaws but also like a challenge.

BBC Sky at Night Magazine subscription

Buy from Buy Subscriptions

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Help kids and young astronomers keep up to date with the latest observing advice, astronomy guides and space news with a subscription to BBC Sky at Night Magazine . UK readers can get 6 issues for £9.99 when they sign up to subscribe via the Buy Subscriptions website .

Astronomy gift ideas for kids under £20

Top trumps space exploration card game.

Space top trumps

How long would it take you to drive to Saturn? A fun and educational classic, Top Trumps is a great way to pass a long car journey, or spend a rainy afternoon.

Space Swirl Colored Pencils

a journey into space toy

Kids will love these two-tone colouring pencils emblazoned with beautiful NASA images of space. Use them to sketch your favourite galaxies or exoplanets, or recreate the ethereal beauty of deep-sky nebulae.

Ravensburger Map of the Universe jigsaw

a journey into space toy

This jigsaw depicting a map of the observable Universe is aimed at kids aged 12 and over, and it’s not difficult to see why. A 1,500-piece puzzle, it depicts the intricacies of the cosmos and the end result is something surely worth framing for a bedroom wall. Who knows, it could end up inspiring the next Stephen Hawking…

Kidz Labs Solar System Planetarium

a journey into space toy

This build-your-own model of the Solar System is great for kids who are fascinated by the planets and who are also up for a bit of crafty DIY. The model is 30cm wide and is glow-in-the-dark, so if your child loves gazing at those glowing star stickers on their wall at night, this may be the perfect gift.

Deep Space Home Planetarium & Projector

a journey into space toy

Turn off the lights, draw the curtains and turn your bedroom into a planetarium. This planetary projector has two domes and projects 24 different colour NASA images. It includes rotating star patterns and had its own stand. For more ideas, read our guide to the best home planetariums and star projectors .

Build your own telescope kit

a journey into space toy

This cardboard telescope kit is a great project for kids to get involved in and features all the lenses, mirrors and parts needed to build your own telescope for observing the night sky. Plus, its build-your-own design is a great way of teaching young astronomers how telescopes work.

Space Racers: Make Your Own Paper Rockets

a journey into space toy

So you've made your own cardboard telescope, now how about making your own paper rockets? This paper rocket kit is ideal for the young or young at heart and includes such iconic rocket designs as the Vostok K, the Space Shuttle and even a 60cm-tall Saturn V.

Astronomy gift ideas for kids under £40

Brainbox space game.

a journey into space toy

Put your knowledge of all things cosmic to the test with this card-based game. Study a fact card for 10 seconds then answer a question based on the roll of the die. Topics include the Apollo missions, celestial objects and constellations.

Storklings Spaceman Soft Toy

a journey into space toy

This 32cm-tall cuddly spaceman is perfect for young, budding astronauts and is made from soft fabric, making it an ideal bedtime companion for small children.

JackInTheBox Space Explorer DIY Box

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This craft box aimed at kids aged 5 and above includes 6 different craft activities including a rocket experiment, creating Solar System wind chime, a cosmic kaleidoscope and learning the phases of the Moon.

NASA Space Shuttle Construction Kit

Buy now from Ebay (£29.99)

a journey into space toy

Get ready for launch with this NASA Space Shuttle Construction Kit. This challenging build features over 450 pieces, which screw together to create an attractive display model of the iconic Space Shuttle to stand on your shelf.

Playmobil Mars Research Vehicle

a journey into space toy

If you know a young, budding rover operator or planetary scientist, this toy Mars research vehicle may be just the thing. It comes with a gripper, drill bit and functioning lights and sounds.

Exqline Kids Space Play Tent

a journey into space toy

This kids play tent features illustrations of the planets and spacecraft and is suitable for indoor and outdoor use, making it a great play den for a bedroom or living room, or a fun way of camping in the back garden under the stars.

Astronomy gift ideas for kids under £100

Lego international space station.

a journey into space toy

Build your own International Space Station with this 864-piece LEGO set. The set has posable solar panels and comes with a mini Space shuttle, three cargo spacecraft and two astronaut microfigures.

For more, read our pick of the best Lego space sets .

LEGO Apollo 11 Moon lander

a journey into space toy

Recreate Armstrong and Aldrin’s legendary moonwalk using LEGO's new Apollo 11 lunar lander set. The 1,087-piece set features a detailed replica of the Eagle lander on the Moon’s surface, complete with mini-footprints and US flag.

Astronomy gift ideas for kids under £200

Homestar original planetarium.

a journey into space toy

Bring the Milky Way to your home with this planetarium projector. Swap the image disc to change the view or enjoy your own personal meteor shower with the shooting star function.

Saturn V Lego Set

a journey into space toy

The Saturn V rocket was the spacecraft that launched human beings beyond low-Earth orbit to put feet on the surface of the Moon for the first time. It was developed during the Apollo programme and would later launch the first American space station, Skylab .

This LEGO set enables you to construct your own Saturn V rocket, and comes complete with its own Apollo lunar lander and command capsule. The kit includes 1,969 pieces and the finished rocket stands over 1m tall. The Saturn V may now be a piece of spaceflight history, but this LEGO set is a testament to its iconic design.

For more options, read our guide to the best Saturn V rocket models .

Find more present inspiration in our roundup of the best Star Wars gifts .

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Children, 7 and 9, launch toy astronaut into space using balloon

Siblings collaborate with experts to launch figure into space, which then spiralled back down to earth, article bookmarked.

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The brother and sister regularly perform science experiments at home

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Two science-mad kids have successfully launched their favourite toy astronaut three times higher than planes fly - reaching the dizzy height of 37,800 metres.

Oscar Adams, aged nine, and sister Layla, aged seven, from Sheffield sent their Blox Spaceman on a two and a half hour journey to the edge of space and back, after attaching it to a payload on a near space balloon flight.

Working with experts from Sheffield based aeronautics company SentintoSpace, the children were able to use a carefully calculated volume of hydrogen to lift the balloon to an altitude of over 37 kilometres.

  • Russia's space programme is close to collapse
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  • Elon Musk to launch his own Tesla car into space playing David Bowie

The balloon reached the size of a double decker bus as it rose, before bursting at peak altitude and sending the toy – with a camera attached to record the journey - spiralling back down to earth.

The lucky pair were afforded the opportunity of space flight by their local Wilko store, after mum Kara wrote into the retailer to say how much the children loved the Blox range of toys.

Karen Jefferys, senior toy buyer for Wilko said: “We love to make Christmas even more special for families up and down the country and wanted to go the extra mile for this space-loving family

“Arranging a space flight from a family home was no mean feat, but we managed to accomplish the mission with the help of Oscar and Layla.”

The children, who regularly do science experiments at home with their mum and dad, couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw the footage of the flight after the launch.

Their mother Kara said: “The children are really passionate about science and space – we’ve done lots of experiments and activities at home before, such as freezing things with dry ice, bouncing bubble and even making bouncy eggs – but we’d never dreamed we could send one of their toys into space.

“We kept the experiment a secret from the children as we couldn’t wait to see their faces when they found out about their very own space mission.

“Oscar loves Tim Peake’s story so he was thrilled to have the chance to recreate space flight.”

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Why spacex's civilian astronaut crew took a plush puppy to space.


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The Inspiration4 mission made history this week as it took an all-civilian crew to space for the first time in history, but tagging along the journey was also a cute non-human member named Jude, a puppy plush toy with a scientific as well as philanthropic objective. The trend of carrying toys or other keepsake items into space is nothing new. Yuri Gagarin, the first man to journey into outer space, carried a doll aboard the Vostok I mission in 1969, and it is said to have kickstarted a trend of carrying toys, items linked to faith, or other small memorabilia on space missions.

A Buzz Lightyear toy spent 15 months aboard the International Space Station and returned to Earth with the Discovery shuttle in 2009. Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa built a LEGO space station model while he was serving on the ISS. An Olaf figure from the Frozen film flew with Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov aboard the Soyuz flight and to the ISS. Going a step further, NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg actually sewed a toy dinosaur while floating in zero gravity. Interestingly, scientists have used these toys to boost space curiosity and teaching how concepts like gravity work using toys in space.

Related:  The US Will 'Absolutely' Be Fighting In Space, Military Officials Say

The latest member of that club is Jude, a plush puppy toy that one of the Inspiration4 crew members — health officer Hayley Arceneaux — took with her into space. However, this toy serves a dual purpose. Astronauts have been carrying toys like this into space for more than just a feel-good reason, as they serve a scientific purpose as well by doubling as zero-G indicators. These toys start floating as soon as the microgravity phase of a space journey begins, informing astronauts that they will now experience weightlessness.

A Cute Scientific Tool For A Great Cause

As the second stage engine of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket separated, Arceneaux pulled the space puppy toy from a pouch and let it go, watching as it started floating inside the capsule. The toy has been modeled after Puggle and Huckleberry, the facility dogs at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, which is where Arceneaux also received treatment for cancer. The 15-inch tall plush puppy wore a white spacesuit for the journey and will return to Earth after a three-day mission in space.

The online St. Jude gift shop is selling the official Inspiration4 Zero Gravity Indicator Replica Space Puppy for $24 a pop. But it appears that Jude has gone viral as the shop is currently out of stock due to the high demand, and it will only be up for grabs on September 27. Proceeds from the sale will go to the hospital and towards research efforts. The Inspiration4 mission was actually all about fundraising, with the target set at raising a sum of $200 million for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. Billionaire Jared Isaacman, who sponsored the mission and also served as the Inspiration4 commander, has already pledged $100 million towards the fundraiser.

Next:  Blood, Sweat, And... Pee? Mars Concrete Could Be Made Of Human Bodily Fluid

Source: St. Jude Gift Shop

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Rhyming Multisensory Stories

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Buckle up and prepare to Blast-Off in your rocket on a multisensory exploration of the solar system with this fully resourced, step-by-step, multisensory story and teaching pack.


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Journey Into Space - A Fully Resourced, Step-by-Step, Multisensory Story

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a journey into space toy

How it feels to go into space: ‘More beautiful and dazzling and frightening than I ever imagined’

Chris Boshuizen was one of four astronauts – including William Shatner – who flew into space with Blue Origin. Here he describes the wonder of the journey

It was a balmy morning in the west Texas desert when Chris Boshuizen stepped into Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket capsule for a journey most of us will never experience.

He waved a quick goodbye to the Amazon billionaire and took his seat next to William Shatner as the capsule door bolted shut.

For Boshuizen, this was a dream a lifetime in the making, ever since his parents took the family to Parkes, a town in his native Australia with longstanding links to astronomy. There, staring out from the same telescope that once transmitted images from the Apollo 11 Moon landing, a curiosity for the great unknown was born.

Chris Boshuizen on board Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin New Shepard rocket, 13 October, 2021.

Now, 37 years later, almost 14,000km from home and strapped to a rocket launcher, the former Nasa developer found himself seated next to Shatner – who captivated the world in his role as Captain James Kirk of Star Trek’s USS Enterprise. Also onboard were Audrey Powers, a Blue Origin executive, and Glen de Vries, chief executive of the clinical research firm Medidata Solutions.

“I’m a space dork,” Boshuizen tells the Guardian days after his return to Earth. “I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut … The day I learned I was flying to space, I babbled like a boy with a new toy.”

After a lifetime of dreaming and 20 years of work, the physicist and engineer last week saw his “boyhood dream come true”, becoming the third Australian citizen to go to space.

The road to liftoff

On 9 October, Boshuizen flew from his home in San Francisco to Van Horn, a small, rural Texas town near the Mexico border. For the next five nights he would live in Bezos’ Astronaut Village, a state-of-the-art preflight residence.

Chris Boshuizen, left, with William Shatner and fellow astronauts

All four crew members underwent days of extensive astronaut training, including flight simulations and zero-gravity workshops, that were designed to prepare the team for space flight in the lead-up to launch day.

From start to finish, every aspect of the journey was rehearsed and honed, from meetings with engineers and control teams to flight-suit fittings and emergency procedure training.

Boshuizen was awake before the sun rose on 13 October – launch day. He admits “feeling a little nervous” but any anxiety was dulled by the excitement shared between the four passengers.

“I had a little time to contemplate my mortality and assess the risk,” he says. “I’ve done all the due diligence I can.”

At T-45 minutes the crew departed the Astronaut Training Center to make the 10-minute journey to the launch pad site, chauffeured by Bezos. At nearly 20 metres tall and four metres wide, the New Shepard was a daunting sight in the sparse desert valley.

Boshuizen ascended the tower and walked across the air bridge to the crew capsule. The astronauts loaded into the 15-cubic-metre crew capsule to be strapped into their seats.

At T-25 min Boshuizen was the final passenger to board as last-minute safety checks prepared the team for liftoff. With just 15 minutes to launch, Bezos pulled the hatch closed as “sit back and relax” sounded from mission control.

“It’s like a submarine door and you hear this steel bang and they lock it down and you think ‘I’m stuck here, I’m not getting out’,” Boshuizen recalled.

Finally, a 10-second countdown boomed and the rocket propelled from the ground.

“It felt no worse than a steep airplane take off,” Boshuizen says, dispelling the idea that the sheer force of the propulsion would rattle and shake the capsule “like the movies”.

As the rocket approached the Kármán Line, the internationally recognised boundary of space at 100km above mean sea level, the capsule separated from the booster and officially sailed into space.

Shepard capsule launches with crew onboard.

“It only takes four to seven minutes to get to space,” Boshuizen says, adding: “It’s very, very quick.”

Boshuizen took with him a 1.5kg cargo bag. Packed inside was a Lego figurine of an astronaut.

At 100km above mean sea level, the minifigure – a childhood toy and throwback to his lifelong fascination with space – jiggled loose and started to somersault through the cabin. Boshuizen unbuckled his seat as he, too, somersaulted in the air.

‘A stone being thrown into a river’

The three to four minutes spent without the pull of gravity were “so natural”, he says. “There’s nothing strange about it at all.”

The crew floated together to take a selfie, noses soon pressed against the windows to view the curve of earth.

“It really got me deep in the chest,” Boshuizen says. The experience was so moving the crew were sobbing.

“Seeing the edge of the atmosphere – a thin, brilliant sapphire shield around the planet – was an uncanny experience,” he adds. “Closing my eyes now, I still feel that irresistible tug … pulling my heart from my chest and out over the edge of the world.”

Astronauts look out of the windows and float inside the capsule

“I’ve watched every movie, I’ve seen every astronaut talk about space and photos of the curvature of the Earth in light of the atmosphere, the blackness of space, and I realise when I got up there those words are just completely inadequate in describing what I saw.

“It was more beautiful and more dazzling and more frightening than I ever imagined.”

The descent back to Earth was as quick as the ascent. As the capsule hit the atmosphere, Boshuizen says, he felt like a stone being thrown into a river, splashing at the surface and then floating gently to the bottom.

Just over 10 minutes after launching, the crew touched back to Earth in a cloud of dust, at 9.59am CDT.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket blasts off

First to meet them was Bezos, opening the hatch to the applause of waiting family and friends. Boshuizen was third to disembark as champagne bottles were popped and Bezos announced: “Welcome to a very small club.”

Boshuizen now holds the sought-after title of being among fewer than 600 people who have seen the Earth from space.

After achieving his childhood goal, Boshuizen has a new aim: to make getting to space as easy as catching a bus.

“The idea of living and working in space will become a reality,” he says. “The first 60 years of space exploration were the domain of governments – now space has become the domain of ordinary citizens.

“In just over half a century, humankind has completely changed. Things that used to take an entire country can now be done by you and me.”

Addressing critics, the astronaut is quick to dispel assertions that trips like these are nothing more than space tourism.

The capsule returns to earth

“It’s interesting seeing human spaceflight start with a joke and people deprecating it as just tourism because they don’t understand what’s coming next,” he says.

“This is not tourism, it’s the beginning of something really powerful. I think we are just around the corner of seeing what human spaceflight can really mean for us

“Human space exploration … [can] look weird and scary and strange to people who don’t understand, and that’s OK. My job is to hold a steady course and and not give up and keep building things that I think are valuable for you for the planet.

“It’s the beginning of something really big and I think if you fast forward 50 years we’re going to look back at 2021 as the year it all began. This is the space race version 2.0.”

Blue Origin’s New Shepard crew capsule lands in Texas

It’s something the venture capitalist is particularly passionate about. “We must go to space if we are to save this Earth … If we have more information about our changing planet, we can be stewards of the planet. You can’t fix something if you don’t know about it.

“Space has always been present, the stars shine down on us as they did our ancestors … [it] begins a mere 60 miles above us but for most of human history it has remained tantalisingly out of reach. One day quite soon entire generations will look down on the Earth as the first astronauts did and fall in love again with our great blue planet, one by one.”

  • William Shatner

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Photo: Screenshot from website

Photo: Screenshot from website

a journey into space toy

The return capsule of the Shenzhou-16 manned spaceship, carrying astronauts Jing Haipeng, Zhu Yangzhu and Gui Haichao, touched ...

a journey into space toy

Operation Luna

A Journey Into Space fansite

Welcome to Operation Luna, a site for fans of the classic radio series Journey Into Space.

Journey Into Space is a BBC Radio science fiction programme written by BBC producer Charles Chilton, and was the last UK radio programme to attract a bigger evening audience than television.

The original recordings of the show were erased shortly after broadcast, and for several decades it was believed that no recordings of the show had survived.

However, in 1986 a set of misfiled Transcription Service discs was discovered, containing complete copies of the three original series.

You can read about the three series ( Operation Luna , Red Planet and World In Peril ), the characters , cast and crew , production , broadcasts and media , and special episodes .

a journey into space toy

Journey Into Space

To subscribe to a personalised Journey Into Space podcast, starting today with Operation Luna (1/13) Operation Luna (2/13) Operation Luna (3/13) Operation Luna (4/13) Operation Luna (5/13) Operation Luna (6/13) Operation Luna (7/13) Operation Luna (8/13) Operation Luna (9/13) Operation Luna (10/13) Operation Luna (11/13) Operation Luna (12/13) Operation Luna (13/13) The Red Planet (1/20) The Red Planet (2/20) The Red Planet (3/20) The Red Planet (4/20) The Red Planet (5/20) The Red Planet (6/20) The Red Planet (7/20) The Red Planet (8/20) The Red Planet (9/20) The Red Planet (10/20) The Red Planet (11/20) The Red Planet (12/20) The Red Planet (13/20) The Red Planet (14/20) The Red Planet (15/20) The Red Planet (16/20) The Red Planet (17/20) The Red Planet (18/20) The Red Planet (19/20) The Red Planet (20/20) The World In Peril (1/20) The World In Peril (2/20) The World In Peril (3/20) The World In Peril (4/20) The World In Peril (5/20) The World In Peril (6/20) The World In Peril (7/20) The World In Peril (8/20) The World In Peril (9/20) The World In Peril (10/20) The World In Peril (11/20) The World In Peril (12/20) The World In Peril (13/20) The World In Peril (14/20) The World In Peril (15/20) The World In Peril (16/20) The World In Peril (17/20) The World In Peril (18/20) The World In Peril (19/20) The World In Peril (20/20) The Return From Mars (1/3) The Return From Mars (2/3) The Return From Mars (3/3) Space Force One (1/06) Space Force One (2/06) Space Force One (3/06) Space Force One (4/06) Space Force One (5/06) Space Force One (6/06) Space Force Two (1/06) Space Force Two (2/06) Space Force Two (3/06) Space Force Two (4/06) Space Force Two (5/06) Space Force Two (6/06) Frozen In Time (1/2) Frozen In Time (2/2) The Host (1/2) The Host (2/2) A Journey Into Space Force ... A Journey Into Space Force ... and with a new episode every four weeks every three weeks every two weeks every ten days every seven days every six days every five days every four days every three days every two days every day all episodes at once , use the following URL:

To subscribe to a personalised Journey Into Space podcast, starting today with Operation Luna (1/13) and with a new episode every seven days, use the following URL:

a journey into space toy

(For a different start date, just change the YYMMDD date in the URL; for a different number of days between episodes, change the number at the end.)

(Some podcast players will be confused by podcasts with single items, so you might want to start from episode three or four.)

BBC Radio science fiction drama serial written by Charles Chilton, first broadcast in 1958 as the series Operation Luna, followed by sequels from the same author including two series of Space Force, plus a sequel by Julian Simpson. Our square-jawed heroes confront the dangers of deep space and boldly charge towards another cliffhanger ending, courageously ignoring the mortal danger, and sometimes overlooking the laws of physics. 72 episodes plus 2 episodes of an interview with Charles Chilton.

MP3 files hosted by .

Happy National Space Day 2024! Here's how 8 lucky kids can win a trip to Florida's Space Coast

For National Space Day, SpaceKids Global announces a competition to send eight kids to Florida for an adventure at Blue Origin and NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

silhouettes of two children looking up at the night sky

It's National Space Day, and also the start of a nationwide competition to send lucky eight kids to Florida for the space adventure of a lifetime!

SpaceKids Global, which focuses on teaching students in elementary school and getting them excited about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics), created the National SpaceKids Press Squad Competition which will be quite an experience! 

Eight students who enter the competition will be selected to fly to Florida and make stops at Blue Origin's Rocket Park manufacturing facility and NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and get training on how to be a reporter!

Related: How to become an astronaut

"Our mission at SpaceKids is to reach children at a young age and get them excited about all of the careers available in the space industry," Sharon Hagle, Founder of SpaceKids Global and a former private spaceflyer on a Blue Origin tourist flight , said in a release. "We are bringing the possibility of space to kids everywhere with opportunities like the SpaceKids Press Squad.

"My flight to space alongside my husband, Marc, was life-changing, and we can't wait for these eight lucky kids to experience an out-of-this-world adventure, too! We hope to inspire a new generation of space explorers and future leaders to pursue STEAM careers," Hagle continued.

Here's the details of what each winner will receive if selected:

Get the Newsletter

Breaking space news, the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more!

  • A SpaceKids Press Squad course before the trip to learn interview skills by a professional reporter
  • Two round-trip coach airfare tickets for each child and their guardian to Orlando, Florida including two nights of hotel accommodations 
  • Round-trip ground transportation to and from Orlando International Airport and while on the Space Coast 
  • A tour of Blue Origin's Rocket Park including an opportunity to interview space professionals and, schedules permitting, watch a live webcast of a New Shepard rocket launch 
  • Visit to NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex 

Between now and Friday, June 14 at 12:00 a.m. EST, parents and guardians can nominate a child here between the ages of eight and 12 attending public, private, parochial, or home schools. Semi-finalists will be announced on Friday, June 28, and will have to submit a 60-second video to head to the finals by Friday, July 12 at 5:00 p.m. EST. The eight winners will be revealed on Friday, August 2 and will include one from an active-duty military family, one from an active-duty first responder family, one member of a Boys & Girls Club, and five others across the United States. 

"We are excited to provide this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a child from our first responder community," Jillian Crane, president and CEO of First Responders Children's Foundation, said in the release. "This experience would not be possible without the innovative work of Sharon Hagle and SpaceKids Global. We are thrilled to partner on this mission and are excited to commence the countdown to the opening of this application."

—   Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin launches 6 people to space in fourth crewed flight

 —  Blue Origin will return husband-and-wife passengers to suborbital space

— Blue Origin will launch Ed Dwight, the 1st-ever Black astronaut candidate, to space on next New Shepard rocket flight

The SpaceKids Press Squad contest is a joint effort with Blue Origin's nonprofit, Club for the Future , whose mission is to inspire and engage future generations to pursue STEAM careers.

"At the core of our mission is removing obstacles that too often separate underserved children from formative STEM experiences," Jamie Merrill, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida , also said in the release. "We're grateful to SpaceKids for providing this thrilling opportunity to one of our deserving Club members." 

More details on the contest rules and requirements to enter are available on the contest website .

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: [email protected].

Meredith Garofalo

Meredith is a regional Murrow award-winning Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and science/space correspondent. She most recently was a Freelance Meteorologist for NY 1 in New York City & the 19 First Alert Weather Team in Cleveland. A self-described "Rocket Girl," Meredith's personal and professional work has drawn recognition over the last decade, including the inaugural Valparaiso University Alumni Association First Decade Achievement Award, two special reports in News 12's Climate Special "Saving Our Shores" that won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award, multiple Fair Media Council Folio & Press Club of Long Island awards for meteorology & reporting, and a Long Island Business News & NYC TV Week "40 Under 40" Award.

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a journey into space toy

Lifelong best friends complete 600-mile journey in motorized toy cars

KEY WEST, Fla. (Gray News) – Two lifelong best friends have just completed a nearly 600-mile journey in motorized toy cars.

Cassie Aran and Lauren Lee, both 29, drove 596 miles from Jacksonville to Key West, Florida – a trek along the entire east coast of the state.

The women began their record-long journey over three months ago and arrived at their final destination in Key West on Saturday.

In a Facebook post , the City of Key West Government posted photos of Aran and Lee celebrating their arrival.

The best friends chronicled their adventure on social media to support their fundraiser aimed at helping animal shelters.

According to a report from WJXT , Aran and Lee were attempting to set a Guinness World Record for “Longest Distance by Toy Cars.”

However, the two will not officially be certified by Guinness World Records because of a financial dilemma.

During their journey, the women received a notification from Guinness that they were “no longer allowed to raise money towards saving animals unless they paid them $16,000,” according to Aran.

Although they said it was heartbreaking to give up their dream of holding a Guinness World Record, the women said it was far more important to them to donate the money they raised to animals in need.

So, they forfeited the Guinness title.

“We are so incredibly sad that we had to make the decision to choose between the record title and saving animals...but I know we made the right move,” Aran said in a post on her YouTube Channel . “I hope so many animals get saved from kill shelters and get the life they deserve because of this very sad decision. I hope you guys will still stay here for our 600-mile journey to the finish line in Key West. I love you guys and I’m going to go cry now..but I still stand by my decision 1000%.”

Aran and Lee have been best friends since kindergarten. They said the toy car journey was a way to honor their childhood memories, as they used to ride them around the neighborhood growing up together.

The women told WJXT that the adventure was so much fun that they plan on taking another long journey in toy cars again soon.

Copyright 2024 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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A new dawn —

Here’s why a rich guy going to space for a second time actually matters, polaris dawn will be the first time that spacex employees have actually gone to space..

Eric Berger - May 7, 2024 1:09 pm UTC

The crew of Polaris Dawn from L to R: Anna Menon, Scott Poteet, Jared Isaacman, and Sarah Gillis.

Over the weekend the crew of the upcoming Polaris Dawn mission shared a wealth of details about the intriguing private mission that will send humans farther than they have flown from Earth in half a century.

Commanded and funded by private astronaut Jared Isaacman, the mission seeks to test new technologies that will further the expansion of humanity into space. Among the objectives are pushing the performance of the Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket, performing the first commercial spacewalk in a new spacesuit developed by SpaceX, and testing Starlink laser-based communications in space.

"Our first objective is to travel farther from the Earth and the last time humans walked on the Moon with Apollo 17, more than 50 years ago," Isaacman said during an online chat hosted by the social network site X. "So we target an apogee of 1,400 kilometers. That puts us just inside the Van Allen radiation belt. It's an awesome opportunity for us to get some data, but really it's about pushing beyond our comfort zone."

The Polaris Dawn mission does not have a launch date, but SpaceX officials confirmed that it is now the next crewed mission the company will fly. There are likely several scheduling issues at play, but it's possible the mission could launch within the next six to eight weeks.

Flying high

After liftoff from Florida, Isaacman said Dragon will complete seven orbits with a maximum altitude of about 1,400 km, which is about twice as high as any crewed mission has flown since 1972. After that the vehicle will descend to a more circular orbit of about 700 km and prepare for a spacewalk.

Besides Isaacman, who flew to space for the first time in September 2021 as the commander of the all-civilian Inspiration 4, the crew of this mission includes a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and experienced pilot named Scott Poteet, and two SpaceX engineers, Sarah Gillis and Anna Menon. This will be the first time that any employee of SpaceX has ever flown into space.

After settling into the lower orbit, the crew will prepare for a spacewalk. They will don spacesuits, and the atmosphere inside the Dragon spacecraft will be vented into space. Then Isaacman and Gillis will exit the spacecraft, with their suits connected to Dragon's air and other consumables by an umbilical.

Polaris Dawn astronaut and SpaceX engineer Sarah Gillis shows off the new spacesuit.

Although government astronauts have conducted hundreds of spacewalks over the last 60 years, no private citizen has ever undertaken one.

"This is important because we are going to get to the Moon and Mars one day, and we're going to have to get out of our vehicles, and out of the safety of the habitat to explore and build and repair things," Isaacman said. SpaceX has already said it is working on a second generation of the suit for operations on the Moon and Mars.

The company spent about two years designing the first generation of this extravehicular activity spacesuit, an upgrade from its current flight suit. It has been extensively tested in vacuum chambers and other facilities at locations such as NASA's Johnson Space Center. Isaacman shared more details about the suits in a subsequent conversation with former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.

SpaceX has also modified Dragon for the spacewalk. Stu Keech, the vice president of Dragon at SpaceX, said a structure named "Skywalker" has been attached to the spacecraft near the hatch as a mobility aid.

Is this guy legit?

It would be easy to dismiss Isaacman as a space fanboy living out his spaceflight dreams after he got rich. ( According to Forbes , the founder of Shift4 Payments is worth an estimated $1.5 billion.) Absolutely, he loves to fly. He owns and regularly pilots a MiG-29—one of only a few of these Soviet fighter aircraft operating in the United States. Spaceflight is the ultimate boundary for people who love to fly.

But Isaacman appears to be in this for more than thrills. On his first two spaceflights, Isaacman sought out crewmates from diverse backgrounds and made charitable donations a major component of each mission. I have had a number of conversations with Isaacman over the last five years, and he has consistently emphasized the goal of opening spaceflight to more people. For example, if humans are ever to have a truly sustained presence in space, spacewalks must be commonplace. Hence, non-NASA astronauts need to start making them. His funding of Polaris Dawn helped SpaceX focus on developing suits for such a purpose down the line.

During the social media event on Saturday, I asked Isaacman about the risks entailed by this mission. By flying higher than a conventional spaceflight, venting the cabin, and performing a spacewalk, he and the crew were taking on a new set of risks.

"We've gotten really comfortable going from point A to B to an extraordinary floating international laboratory, but I think humankind's ambitions are beyond that," Isaacman said of the International Space Station. "We're going to encounter different things. The risk is different when you vent the vehicle down to vacuum, and you're in a spacesuit. But I think these are all positive steps in the direction of goodness towards, you know, humankind's interest to explore our Solar System and beyond."

Isaacman has clearly bought in to the idea of space settlement. He's personally taking risks to help achieve that vision, investing a significant chunk of money and time for training. It is a brave and bold and important thing to be doing.

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Stormy Daniels Takes the Stand

The porn star testified for eight hours at donald trump’s hush-money trial. this is how it went..

This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email [email protected] with any questions.

It’s 6:41 AM. I’m feeling a little stressed because I’m running late. It’s the fourth week of Donald J. Trump’s criminal trial. It’s a white collar trial. Most of the witnesses we’ve heard from have been, I think, typical white collar witnesses in terms of their professions.

We’ve got a former publisher, a lawyer, accountants. The witness today, a little less typical, Stormy Daniels, porn star in a New York criminal courtroom in front of a jury more accustomed to the types of witnesses they’ve already seen. There’s a lot that could go wrong.

From “The New York Times,” I’m Michael Barbaro. This is “The Daily.”

Today, what happened when Stormy Daniels took the stand for eight hours in the first criminal trial of Donald J. Trump. As before, my colleague Jonah Bromwich was inside the courtroom.


It’s Friday, May 10th.

So it’s now day 14 of this trial. And I think it’s worth having you briefly, and in broad strokes, catch listeners up on the biggest developments that have occurred since you were last on, which was the day that opening arguments were made by both the defense and the prosecution. So just give us that brief recap.

Sure. It’s all been the prosecution’s case so far. And prosecutors have a saying, which is that the evidence is coming in great. And I think for this prosecution, which is trying to show that Trump falsified business records to cover up a sex scandal, to ease his way into the White House in 2016, the evidence has been coming in pretty well. It’s come in well through David Pecker, former publisher of The National Enquirer, who testified that he entered into a secret plot with Trump and Michael Cohen, his fixer at the time, to suppress negative stories about Trump, the candidate.

It came in pretty well through Keith Davidson, who was a lawyer to Stormy Daniels in 2016 and negotiated the hush money payment. And we’ve seen all these little bits and pieces of evidence that tell the story that prosecutors want to tell. And the case makes sense so far. We can’t tell what the jury is thinking, as we always say.

But we can tell that there’s a narrative that’s coherent and that matches up with the prosecution’s opening statement. Then we come to Tuesday. And that day really marks the first time that the prosecution’s strategy seems a little bit risky because that’s the day that Stormy Daniels gets called to the witness stand.

OK, well, just explain why the prosecution putting Stormy Daniels on the stand would be so risky. And I guess it makes sense to answer that in the context of why the prosecution is calling her as a witness at all.

Well, you can see why it makes sense to have her. The hush money payment was to her. The cover-up of the hush money payment, in some ways, concerns her. And so she’s this character who’s very much at the center of this story. But according to prosecutors, she’s not at the center of the crime. The prosecution is telling a story, and they hope a compelling one. And arguably, that story starts with Stormy Daniels. It starts in 2006, when Stormy Daniels says that she and Trump had sex, which is something that Trump has always denied.

So if prosecutors were to not call Stormy Daniels to the stand, you would have this big hole in the case. It would be like, effect, effect, effect. But where is the cause? Where is the person who set off this chain reaction? But Stormy Daniels is a porn star. She’s there to testify about sex. Sex and pornography are things that the jurors were not asked about during jury selection. And those are subjects that bring up all kinds of different complex reactions in people.

And so, when the prosecutors bring Stormy Daniels to the courtroom, it’s very difficult to know how the jurors will take it, particularly given that she’s about to describe a sexual episode that she says she had with the former president. Will the jurors think that makes sense, as they sit here and try to decide a falsifying business records case, or will they ask themselves, why are we hearing this?

So the reason why this is the first time that the prosecution’s strategy is, for journalists like you, a little bit confusing, is because it’s the first time that the prosecution seems to be taking a genuine risk in what they’re putting before these jurors. Everything else has been kind of cut and dry and a little bit more mechanical. This is just a wild card.

This is like live ammunition, to some extent. Everything else is settled and controlled. And they know what’s going to happen. With Stormy Daniels, that’s not the case.

OK, so walk us through the testimony. When the prosecution brings her to the stand, what actually happens?

It starts, as every witness does, with what’s called direct examination, which is a fancy word for saying prosecutors question Stormy Daniels. And they have her tell her story. First, they have her tell the jury about her education and where she grew up and her professional experience. And because of Stormy Daniels’s biography, that quickly goes into stripping, and then goes into making adult films.

And I thought the prosecutor who questioned her, Susan Hoffinger, had this nice touch in talking about that, because not only did she ask Daniels about acting in adult films. But she asked her about writing and directing them, too, emphasizing the more professional aspects of that work and giving a little more credit to the witness, as if to say, well, you may think this or you may think that. But this is a person with dignity who took what she did seriously. Got it.

What’s your first impression of Daniels as a witness?

It’s very clear that she’s nervous. She’s speaking fast. She’s laughing to herself and making small jokes. But the tension in the room is so serious from the beginning, from the moment she enters, that those jokes aren’t landing. So it just feels, like, really heavy and still and almost oppressive in there. So Daniels talking quickly, seeming nervous, giving more answers than are being asked of her by the prosecution, even before we get to the sexual encounter that she’s about to describe, all of that presents a really discomfiting impression, I would say.

And how does this move towards the encounter that Daniels ultimately has?

It starts at a golf tournament in 2006, in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Daniels meets Trump there. There are other celebrities there, too. They chatted very briefly. And then she received a dinner invitation from him. She thought it over, she says. And she goes to have dinner with Trump, not at a restaurant, by the way. But she’s invited to join him in the hotel suite.

So she gets to the hotel suite. And his bodyguard is there. And the hotel door is cracked open. And the bodyguard greets her and says she looks nice, this and that. And she goes in. And there’s Donald Trump, just as expected. But what’s not expected, she says, is that he’s not wearing what you would wear to a dinner with a stranger, but instead, she says, silk or satin pajamas. She asked him to change, she says. And he obliges.

He goes, and he puts on a dress shirt and dress pants. And they sit down at the hotel suite’s dining room table. And they have a kind of bizarre dinner. Trump is asking her very personal questions about pornography and safe sex. And she testifies that she teased him about vain and pompous he is. And then at some point, she goes to the bathroom. And she sees that he has got his toiletries in there, his Old Spice, his gold tweezers.

Very specific details.

Yeah, we’re getting a ton of detail in this scene. And the reason we’re getting those is because prosecutors are trying to elicit those details to establish that this is a credible person, that this thing did happen, despite what Donald Trump and his lawyers say. And the reason you can know it happened, prosecutors seem to be saying, is because, look at all these details she can still summon up.

She comes out of the bathroom. And she says that Donald Trump is on the hotel bed. And what stands out to me there is what she describes as a very intense physical reaction. She says that she blacked out. And she quickly clarifies, she doesn’t mean from drugs or alcohol. She means that, she says, that the intensity of this experience was such that, suddenly, she can’t remember every detail. The prosecution asks a question that cuts directly to the sex. Essentially, did you start having sex with him? And Daniels says that she did. And she continues to provide more details than even, I think, the prosecution wanted.

And I think we don’t want to go chapter and verse through this claimed sexual encounter. But I wonder what details stand out and which details feel important, given the prosecution’s strategy here.

All the details stand out because it’s a story about having had sex with a former president. And the more salacious and more private the details feel, the more you’re going to remember them. So we’ll remember that Stormy Daniels said what position they had sex in. We’ll remember that she said he didn’t use a condom. Whether that’s important to the prosecution’s case, now, that’s a much harder question to answer, as we’ve been saying.

But what I can tell you is, as she’s describing having had sex with Donald Trump, and Donald Trump is sitting right there, and Eric Trump, his son, is sitting behind him, seeming to turn a different color as he hears this embarrassment of his father being described to a courtroom full of reporters at this trial, it’s hard to even describe the energy in that room. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. And it was just Daniels’s testimony and, seemingly, the former President’s emotions. And you almost felt like you were trapped in there with both of them as this description was happening.

Well, I think it’s important to try to understand why the prosecution is getting these details, these salacious, carnal, pick your word, graphic details about sex with Donald Trump. What is the value, if other details are clearly making the point that she’s recollecting something?

Well, I think, at this point, we can only speculate. But one thing we can say is, this was uncomfortable. This felt bad. And remember, prosecutor’s story is not about the sex. It’s about trying to hide the sex. So if you’re trying to show a jury why it might be worthwhile to hide a story, it might be worth —

Providing lots of salacious details that a person would want to hide.

— exposing them to how bad that story feels and reminding them that if they had been voters and they had heard that story, and, in fact, they asked Daniels this very question, if you hadn’t accepted hush money, if you hadn’t signed that NDA, is this the story you would have told? And she said, yes. And so where I think they’re going with this, but we can’t really be sure yet, is that they’re going to tell the jurors, hey, that story, you can see why he wanted to cover that up, can’t you?

You mentioned the hush money payments. What testimony does Daniels offer about that? And how does it advance the prosecution’s case of business fraud related to the hush money payments?

So little evidence that it’s almost laughable. She says that she received the hush money. But we actually already heard another witness, her lawyer at the time, Keith Davidson, testify that he had received the hush money payment on her behalf. And she testified about feeling as if she had to sell this story because the election was fast approaching, almost as if her leverage was slipping away because she knew this would be bad for Trump.

That feels important. But just help me understand why it’s important.

Well, what the prosecution has been arguing is that Trump covered up this hush money payment in order to conceal a different crime. And that crime, they say, was to promote his election to the presidency by illegal means.

Right, we’ve talked about this in the past.

So when Daniels ties her side of the payment into the election, it just reminds the jurors maybe, oh, right, this is what they’re arguing.

So how does the prosecution end this very dramatic, and from everything you’re saying, very tense questioning of Stormy Daniels about this encounter?

Well, before they can even end, the defense lawyers go and they consult among themselves. And then, with the jury out of the room, one of them stands up. And he says that the defense is moving for a mistrial.

On what terms?

He says that the testimony offered by Daniels that morning is so prejudicial, so damning to Trump in the eyes of the jury, that the trial can no longer be fair. Like, how could these jurors have heard these details and still be fair when they render their verdict? And he says a memorable expression. He says, you can’t un-ring that bell, meaning they heard it. They can’t un-hear it. It’s over. Throw out this trial. It should be done.

Wow. And what is the response from the judge?

So the judge, Juan Merchan, he hears them out. And he really hears them out. But at the end of their arguments, he says, I do think she went a little too far. He says that. He said, there were things that were better left unsaid.

By Stormy Daniels?

By Stormy Daniels. And he acknowledges that she is a difficult witness. But, he says, the remedy for that is not a mistrial, is not stopping the whole thing right now. The remedy for that is cross-examination. If the defense feels that there are issues with her story, issues with her credibility, they can ask her whatever they want. They can try to win the jury back over. If they think this jury has been poisoned by this witness, well, this is their time to provide the antidote. The antidote is cross-examination. And soon enough, cross-examination starts. And it is exactly as intense and combative as we expected.

We’ll be right back.

So, Jonah, how would you characterize the defense’s overall strategy in this intense cross-examination of Stormy Daniels?

People know the word impeach from presidential impeachments. But it has a meaning in law, too. You impeach a witness, and, specifically, their credibility. And that’s what the defense is going for here. They are going to try to make Stormy Daniels look like a liar, a fraud, an extortionist, a money-grubbing opportunist who wanted to take advantage of Trump and sought to do so by any means necessary.

And what did that impeachment strategy look like in the courtroom?

The defense lawyer who questions Stormy Daniels is a woman named Susan Necheles. She’s defended Trump before. And she’s a bit of a cross-examination specialist. We even saw her during jury selection bring up these past details to confront jurors who had said nasty things about Trump on social media with. And she wants to do the same thing with Daniels. She wants to bring up old interviews and old tweets and things that Daniels has said in the past that don’t match what Daniels is saying from the stand.

What’s a specific example? And do they land?

Some of them land. And some of them don’t. One specific example is that Necheles confronts Daniels with this old tweet, where Daniels says that she’s going to dance down the street if Trump goes to jail. And what she’s trying to show there is that Daniels is out for revenge, that she hates Trump, and that she wants to see him go to jail. And that’s why she’s testifying against him.

And Daniels is very interesting during the cross-examination. It’s almost as if she’s a different person. She kind of squares her shoulders. And she sits up a little straighter. And she leans forward. Daniels is ready to fight. But it doesn’t quite land. The tweet actually says, I’ll dance down the street when he’s selected to go to jail.

And Daniels goes off on this digression about how she knows that people don’t get selected to go to jail. That’s not how it works. But she can’t really unseat this argument, that she’s a political enemy of Donald Trump. So that one kind of sticks, I would say. But there are other moves that Necheles tries to pull that don’t stick.

So unlike the prosecution, which typically used words like adult, adult film, Necheles seems to be taking every chance she can get to say porn, or pornography, or porn star, to make it sound base or dirty. And so when she starts to ask Daniels about actually being in pornography, writing, acting, and directing sex films, she tries to land a punch line, Necheles does. She says, so you have a lot of experience making phony stories about sex appear to be real, right?

As if to say, perhaps this story you have told about entering Trump’s suite in Lake Tahoe and having sex with him was made up.

Just another one of your fictional stories about sex. But Daniels comes back and says, the sex in the films, it’s very much real, just like what happened to me in that room. And so, when you have this kind of combat of a lawyer cross-examining very aggressively and the witness fighting back, you can feel the energy in the room shift as one lands a blow or the other does. But here, Daniels lands one back. And the other issue that I think Susan Necheles runs into is, she tries to draw out disparities from interviews that Daniels gave, particularly to N-TOUCH, very early on once the story was out.

It’s kind of like a tabloid magazine?

But some of the disparities don’t seem to be landing quite like Necheles would want. So she tries to do this complicated thing about where the bodyguard was in the room when Daniels walked into the room, as described in an interview in a magazine. But in that magazine interview, as it turns out, Daniels mentioned that Trump was wearing pajamas. And so, if I’m a juror, I don’t care where the bodyguard is. I’m thinking about, oh, yeah, I remember that Stormy Daniels said now in 2024 that Trump was wearing pajamas.

I’m curious if, as somebody in the room, you felt that the defense was effective in undermining Stormy Daniels’s credibility? Because what I took from the earlier part of our conversation was that Stormy Daniels is in this courtroom on behalf of the prosecution to tell a story that’s uncomfortable and has the kind of details that Donald Trump would be motivated to try to hide. And therefore, this defense strategy is to say, those details about what Trump might want to hide, you can’t trust them. So does this back and forth effectively hurt Stormy Daniels’s credibility, in your estimation?

I don’t think that Stormy Daniels came off as perfectly credible about everything she testified about. There are incidents that were unclear or confusing. There were things she talked about that I found hard to believe, when she, for instance, denied that she had attacked Trump in a tweet or talked about her motivations. But about what prosecutors need, that central story, the story of having had sex with him, we can’t know whether it happened.

But there weren’t that many disparities in these accounts over the years. In terms of things that would make me doubt the story that Daniels was telling, details that don’t add up, those weren’t present. And you don’t have to take my word for that, nor should you. But the judge is in the room. And he says something very, very similar.

What does he say? And why does he say it?

Well, he does it when the defense, again, at the end of the day on Thursday, calls for a mistrial.

With a similar argument as before?

Not only with a similar argument as before, but, like, almost the exact same argument. And I would say that I was astonished to see them do this. But I wasn’t because I’ve covered other trials where Trump is the client. And in those trials, the lawyers, again and again, called for a mistrial.

And what does Judge Marchan say in response to this second effort to seek a mistrial?

Let me say, to this one, he seems a little less patient. He says that after the first mistrial ruling, two days before, he went into his chambers. And he read every decision he had made about the case. He took this moment to reflect on the first decision. And he found that he had, in his own estimation, which is all he has, been fair and not allowed evidence that was prejudicial to Trump into this trial. It could continue. And so he said that again. And then he really almost turned on the defense. And he said that the things that the defense was objecting to were things that the defense had made happen.

He says that in their opening statement, the defense could have taken issue with many elements of the case, about whether there were falsified business records, about any of the other things that prosecutors are saying happened. But instead, he says, they focused their energy on denying that Trump ever had sex with Daniels.

And so that was essentially an invitation to the prosecution to call Stormy Daniels as a witness and have her say from the stand, yes, I had this sexual encounter. The upshot of it is that the judge not only takes the defense to task. But he also just says that he finds Stormy Daniels’s narrative credible. He doesn’t see it as having changed so much from year to year.

Interesting. So in thinking back to our original question here, Jonah, about the idea that putting Stormy Daniels on the stand was risky, I wonder if, by the end of this entire journey, you’re reevaluating that idea because it doesn’t sound like it ended up being super risky. It sounded like it ended up working reasonably well for the prosecution.

Well, let me just assert that it doesn’t really matter what I think. The jury is going to decide this. There’s 12 people. And we can’t know what they’re thinking. But my impression was that, while she was being questioned by the prosecution for the prosecution’s case, Stormy Daniels was a real liability. She was a difficult witness for them.

And the judge said as much. But when the defense cross-examined her, Stormy Daniels became a better witness, in part because their struggles to discredit her may have actually ended up making her story look more credible and stronger. And the reason that matters is because, remember, we said that prosecutors are trying to fill this hole in their case. Well, now, they have. The jury has met Stormy Daniels. They’ve heard her account. They’ve made of it what they will. And now, the sequence of events that prosecutors are trying to line up as they seek prison time for the former President really makes a lot of sense.

It starts with what Stormy Daniels says with sex in a hotel suite in 2006. It picks up years later, as Donald Trump is trying to win an election and, prosecutors say, suppressing negative stories, including Stormy Daniels’s very negative story. And the story that prosecutors are telling ends with Donald Trump orchestrating the falsification of business records to keep that story concealed.

Well, Jonah, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

Of course, thanks for having me.

The prosecution’s next major witness will be Michael Cohen, the former Trump fixer who arranged for the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels. Cohen is expected to take the stand on Monday.

Here’s what else you need to know today. On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a defiant response to warnings from the United States that it would stop supplying weapons to Israel if Israel invades the Southern Gaza City of Rafah. So far, Israel has carried out a limited incursion into the city where a million civilians are sheltering, but has threatened a full invasion. In a statement, Netanyahu said, quote, “if we need to stand alone, we will stand alone.”

Meanwhile, high level ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Hamas have been put on hold in part because of anger over Israel’s incursion into Rafah.

A reminder, tomorrow, we’ll be sharing the latest episode of our colleague’s new show, “The Interview” This week on “The Interview,” Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks with radio host Charlamagne Tha God about his frustrations with how Americans talk about politics.

If me as a Black man, if I criticize Democrats, then I’m supporting MAGA. But if I criticize, you know, Donald Trump and Republicans, then I’m a Democratic shill. Why can’t I just be a person who deals in nuance?

Today’s episode was produced by Olivia Natt and Michael Simon Johnson. It was edited by Lexie Diao, with help from Paige Cowett, contains original music by Will Reid and Marion Lozano, and was engineered by Alyssa Moxley. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly.

That’s it for “The Daily.” I’m Michael Barbaro. See you on Monday.

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  • May 13, 2024   •   27:46 How Biden Adopted Trump’s Trade War With China
  • May 10, 2024   •   27:42 Stormy Daniels Takes the Stand
  • May 9, 2024   •   34:42 One Strongman, One Billion Voters, and the Future of India
  • May 8, 2024   •   28:28 A Plan to Remake the Middle East
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  • May 6, 2024   •   29:23 R.F.K. Jr.’s Battle to Get on the Ballot
  • May 3, 2024   •   25:33 The Protesters and the President
  • May 2, 2024   •   29:13 Biden Loosens Up on Weed
  • May 1, 2024   •   35:16 The New Abortion Fight Before the Supreme Court
  • April 30, 2024   •   27:40 The Secret Push That Could Ban TikTok
  • April 29, 2024   •   47:53 Trump 2.0: What a Second Trump Presidency Would Bring
  • April 26, 2024   •   21:50 Harvey Weinstein Conviction Thrown Out

Hosted by Michael Barbaro

Featuring Jonah E. Bromwich

Produced by Olivia Natt and Michael Simon Johnson

Edited by Lexie Diao

With Paige Cowett

Original music by Will Reid and Marion Lozano

Engineered by Alyssa Moxley

Listen and follow The Daily Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | YouTube

This episode contains descriptions of an alleged sexual liaison.

What happened when Stormy Daniels took the stand for eight hours in the first criminal trial of former President Donald J. Trump?

Jonah Bromwich, one of the lead reporters covering the trial for The Times, was in the room.

On today’s episode

a journey into space toy

Jonah E. Bromwich , who covers criminal justice in New York for The New York Times.

A woman is walking down some stairs. She is wearing a black suit. Behind her stands a man wearing a uniform.

Background reading

In a second day of cross-examination, Stormy Daniels resisted the implication she had tried to shake down Donald J. Trump by selling her story of a sexual liaison.

Here are six takeaways from Ms. Daniels’s earlier testimony.

There are a lot of ways to listen to The Daily. Here’s how.

We aim to make transcripts available the next workday after an episode’s publication. You can find them at the top of the page.

The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Sydney Harper, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky, John Ketchum, Nina Feldman, Will Reid, Carlos Prieto, Ben Calhoun, Susan Lee, Lexie Diao, Mary Wilson, Alex Stern, Dan Farrell, Sophia Lanman, Shannon Lin, Diane Wong, Devon Taylor, Alyssa Moxley, Summer Thomad, Olivia Natt, Daniel Ramirez and Brendan Klinkenberg.

Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Paula Szuchman, Lisa Tobin, Larissa Anderson, Julia Simon, Sofia Milan, Mahima Chablani, Elizabeth Davis-Moorer, Jeffrey Miranda, Renan Borelli, Maddy Masiello, Isabella Anderson and Nina Lassam.

Jonah E. Bromwich covers criminal justice in New York, with a focus on the Manhattan district attorney’s office and state criminal courts in Manhattan. More about Jonah E. Bromwich



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