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A & E: Astronaut & Emergencies

This week has certainly been a busy one!

Over the last seven days I have been to Mars four times, helped the team save the island of Montserrat 10 times and chatted with an underwater astronaut!

I have been occupied for the majority of this week with the safety of the residents of Montserrat. These poor people have been harassed by threats from a volcano and a hurricane all week, with them being evacuated from their homes 10 times. Before you switch over to the news, there was no actual peril.

It was part of our Virtual Classroom session we have been running with a year 7 group this week. They formed emergency response teams that liaised with me in mission control to calculate the path of the hurricane, the chances of volcanic eruption and organise evacuations. The pressure was ramped up as the groups competed to save the island with the least amount of casualties.

My highlight of this week was the opportunity to speak with astronaut Tim Peak. Tim is the first British ESA astronaut. He has been testing new space exploration equipment. These tests are being done 20 metres under the sea, off the coast of Florida.

Visitors to the centre got a chance to talk to Tim for about 25 minutes, asking him questions and learning what it was like to be in such different conditions. We learnt that the water was a good simulation for weightlessness and under the high pressure; it is incredibly difficult to whistle! The video connection meant we got a really good idea of what it was like down there in the tiny cabin.

I also spotted some nosy fish that kept looking through the window over Tim's shoulder.

 

From our Blog:

Shuttle launch in the Challenger Learning Centre.As we wave goodbye to the summer we are ready to welcome all of our school visitors back to the National Space Centre. We are especially excited as we have a multitude of new goodies ready to offer for the new school year!

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Scouting and Guiding:

Fantastic packages for Scouting and Guiding Groups.

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Space Missions:

Blast off on one of our specatacular space missions!

Find out more