Mission Discovery has launched!

 14 June 2016  |  

Former NASA astronaut Michael Foale is lending his expertise to the Mission Discovery

Former NASA astronaut Michael Foale is lending his expertise to the Mission Discovery

200 Ayrshire secondary school pupils and college students are competing in teams at Mission Discovery Ayrshire 2016 this week for the chance to have their experiment launched into space.

Mission Discovery is a week-long educational programme developed by the International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET). The programme is taking place in Ayrshire for the first time thanks to funding provided by the Ayrshire College Foundation.

Former NASA astronaut Michael Foale CBE, NASA's Assistant Chief of EVA, Robotics & Crew Systems, Sarah Murray, Dr Julie Keeble of King's College London and Chris Barber, Director of ISSET, make up the team delivering the programme to 150 pupils from East, North and South Ayrshire secondary schools, and 50 Ayrshire College students.

The winners at the end of the week will have their experiment built, launched to the International Space Station and carried out by astronauts in space!

During the week the teams will be able to call upon the assistance of the most experienced British-born astronaut in the history of human spaceflight and the first Briton to perform a spacewalk, Michael Foale CBE.

This exceptional learning experience is like no other, with students learning all about space in the company of NASA leaders. Mission Discovery is proven to enhance students' scientific and technological skillset, while developing innovation and team work.

Ayrshire College is hosting the space event at its Ayr Campus.

The Ayrshire College Foundation was set up to advance education by providing financial support for projects and activities carried out and supported by Ayrshire College.

John Rainey, Chair of the Ayrshire College Foundation, said "Mission Discovery is a truly unique programme and a real once in a lifetime opportunity for the participants. The prize for the winning team of having their experiment tested in space is unbelievable. I would like to wish everyone taking part the very best of luck and hope they enjoy the week."

Heather Dunk, Principal of Ayrshire College, said "We are delighted to host the Mission Discovery programme in Ayrshire for the very first time.

"Thanks to the Ayrshire College Foundation we are able to engage with 200 secondary school pupils and college students through this exciting space project. It is important for us to showcase the wonderful opportunities available to Ayrshire pupils in science, technology, engineering and mathematics areas."

Michael Foale CBE, former NASA astronaut, said "I am really looking forward to coming to Ayrshire to inspire and inform the students taking part in Mission Discovery. It is going to be fun learning what they think we can do next, on my old home the International Space Station."