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[b]Space Challenge! Extreme Science and Enterprise @ 27,000 km per hour and 340km above the Earth[/b]
[i]UK students from 7 to 19 yrs to have a unique opportunity to contribute to out-of-this-world science and enterprise[/i]
UK students will have a chance to get involved in two out-of-this-world space science experiments when British-born space entrepreneur Richard Garriott arrives at the International Space Station (ISS) this Autumn.
Developed in partnership with the British National Space Centre (BNSC), which co-ordinates civil space activities in the UK, and US company Space Adventures, which provides spaceflight opportunities for private citizens, the educational outreach programme will include challenges for both primary and secondary school students across the UK: [list][*]Primary schools students will be invited to design an experiment to be carried out by Mr. Garriott on the International Space Station and reviewed by retired astronaut Dr. Owen Garriott and by leading UK scientists including Dr Samantha Wynne, Cambridge University, and Professor Peter McCowan, Queen Mary, University of London.
[*]Students aged 11-19 will be invited to imagine how space enterprise could develop in the future for space tourism companies including Space Adventures, using facilities such as the International Space Station.[/list] The two challenges were launched to schools on 28 February 2008 at the Education Show by Dr Maggie Aderin, space scientist and television presenter. The deadline for student entries is 20 June 2008.
Mr Garriott is currently undergoing cosmonaut training at Star City in Russia for his forthcoming mission to the ISS.
He said: [i]"I am dedicating my spaceflight to science and enterprise. We need to be adventurous in mind and stimulate our intellects to answer today's most daunting scientific questions and to invent tomorrow's technological marvels. We need more than great ideas - we need to make them happen."[/i]
A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch Mr Garriott up to the International Space Station where he will spend between eight and ten days. As part of his mission training at Star City, he will learn spacecraft operation, survival and experimental techniques as well as undergoing medical testing to ensure he is ready for space.
The educational challenges are part of the wider UK Civil Space Strategy 2008-2012 and beyond announced on 14 February 2008 which demonstrates a renewed commitment to use space to inspire future generations.
Jeremy Curtis, from the BNSC UK Space Strategy Group, said:
"We're delighted by this opportunity for UK students to experience the excitement of real science from the curriculum and to see their experiments carried out by Richard Garriott on his flight to the International Space Station later this year."
Competition winners will be announced by Dr Piers Sellers, British-born NASA astronaut and spacewalker, on 28 September 2008 at the International Astronautical Congress in Glasgow.
Educational organisations, companies and space enthusiasts can get involved in Mr Garriott's spaceflight to the International Space Station by visiting his website: richardinspace.com
Mr. Garriott, who will be updating his site regularly with photographs and blog entries on his forthcoming spaceflight, added: "I want to involve as many people as possible in my mission."
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