Aidan prepares for once-in-a-lifetime trip to NASA’s Johnson Space Center
A St Aloysius’ College pupil is one of a lucky 10 who will be travelling to Houston, Texas as part of the Scottish Space School initiative.
Aidan Vickers (S6) was selected to join the trip to the United States after taking part in the outreach programme run by the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Strathclyde.
The Scottish Space School is a week-long residential summer school which every year welcomes 100 S5 pupils from across Scotland for a series of lectures and workshops delivered by academics and visiting NASA representatives.
Each year 40 of the students are chosen based on their general performance and attitudes to attend a selection workshop where, after rigorous assessment, 10 are selected to take part in the week-long Learning Journey to Houston.
While in Houston the students will take part in a variety of activities including attending an airshow at Ellington Airport, visiting NASA’S Neutral Buoyancy Lab where astronauts prepare for spaceflight and going on a VIP tour of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
There they will see the control rooms for the ISS and Apollo missions, and attend talks by famous NASA personnel, including former Flight Director Gene Kranz who oversaw the Apollo 11 moon landing and the efforts to rescue the astronauts on the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission.
The pupils will also meet astronaut Fred Haise, who was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 13 and later on flew test flights for the space shuttle.
Professor Scott MacGregor, Vice-Principal of the University of Strathclyde said: “The Learning Journey to Houston is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the selected pupils and one of our most successful outreach programmes.
“The aim is to inspire, motivate and raise the aspirations of young people from across Scotland in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – as well as improving confidence through the development of communication, team-building and problem-solving skills.”
Aidan’s mum, added: “The original online application process involved 534 pupils which was shortlisted to 100 through a serious of rigorous questioning. Aidan leaves on Thursday this week and is very much looking forward the trip.”
We hope Aidan, along with all the selected pupils, have a safe and inspiring trip. We will report back on how Aidan gets on in the coming weeks.