Spaced out for Mars mission


Two Palmerston College students who trained for a mission to Mars have returned from the U.S Space and Rocket Centre with expanded views about space exploration and their career options.

Ella Hite and Krishi Patel attended the 7 to 12 July Space Camp at the Alabama-based facility to learn about the intricacies of a first voyage to the Red Planet.

Teacher Sharon Every, who accompanied the years 7 and 8 collegians, said the roles assigned to students from several schools varied from shuttle astronauts to mission control operators.

“Both students loved the experience, and for Krishi it confirmed her pre-existing ambition to become an astronaut,” she said.

“Ella, who was originally interested in geology in space, is now keen to pursue a career in engineering.”

Ella said the activities ranged from using a space toilet to heat proofing the side of space shuttle and testing the quality of the work.

“A highlight was meeting astronaut Captain Wendy Lawrence, who talked about how long it took her to become an astronaut, and emphasised the importance of never giving up on a dream,” she said.

Krishi was awed by the number of rockets in the museum, including the moon explorer, Saturn V.

“Using the equipment was fun and challenging, especially the Multi-Axis Trainer that simulates an uncontrolled spin in micro gravity,” she said.

Sharon Every said the most important message imparted to teachers is the possibility of students’ involvement at all levels of a mission.

Spaced out for Mars mission

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