Congratulations to the winning team at King’s College, London Mission Discovery

Congratulations to the winning team at Mission Discovery ‪#‎STEM‬ summer school at King’s College London last week. Team ‘Icarus’ won with their experiment idea to test if electricity generating bacteria, once taken to a microgravity environment, will increase either the rate or amount of electricity generated when compared with the same process on Earth.

King 2015 Winning Photo med

Their experiment will be launched to space in the coming months, along with the winning experiments from this years other programmes in Scotland and Wales.

We would like to extend our thanks to everyone involved in this years Mission Discovery programmes and we look forward to working with you all again in the future.

Our next destination is Caerphilly, South Wales in October 26th – 30th, 2015.

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Waving the Expedition 43 Crew off

The launch of Expedition 43 has occurred, and it was a success. We had the privilege of being there to wave the crew off.

This is Chris' VIP pass for the Expedition 43 launch.

This is Chris’ VIP pass for the Expedition 43 launch.

Chris outside the Gagarin Research and Test Cosmonaut Centre where Scott and his crew have been housed in quarantine.

Chris outside the Gagarin Research and Test Cosmonaut Centre where Scott and his crew have been housed in quarantine.

The following video is of the crew departing for the launch centre. Very exciting times and we were really glad to have the opportunity to see this.

Cosmonaut Avenue of Trees

At the Baikonur Space Centre there is an avenue of white oak trees where each tree has been planted by a cosmonaut or astronaut who has been launched into space at Baikonur.

The Cosmonaut Avenue of Trees

The Cosmonaut Avenue of Trees

Chris and former director of Johnson Space Center visited the avenue today.

Chris and George at the tree planted by Yuri Gagrin on 12th April 1961 when he became the first human to journey into space.

Chris and George at the tree planted by Yuri Gagrin on 12th April 1961 when he became the first human to journey into space.

Chris and George at the tree planted by their great, now departed friend and colleague, Cosmonaut General Yuri Glaskov.

Chris and George at the tree planted by their great, now departed friend and colleague, Cosmonaut General Yuri Glaskov.

This is the tree planted by Scott Kelly in October 2010 on his first mission to be Commander of the Space Station. We'll have to ask him why he planted a Bonsai tree.

This is the tree planted by Scott Kelly in October 2010 on his first mission to be Commander of the Space Station. We’ll have to ask him why he planted a Bonsai tree.

Expedition 43 Space Station Crew Press Conference

Today we had the pleasure of being a part of the Expedition 43 press conference. The room was really crowded, with press from all over the world in attendance.

Expedition 43 Press Conference

Expedition 43 Press Conference

All the astronauts seemed relaxed and very confident. When Scott was asked about not seeing his brother for a year he joked, “In the past I have gone longer than that without seeing him and it was great.”

Expedition 43 Crew.

Expedition 43 Crew.

Chris Barber at the Expedition 43 Press Conference

Chris Barber at the Expedition 43 Press Conference

Lunch in a Yurt in Kazakhstan

In a traditional Yurt in Kazakhstan we had a great lunch. The meal was traditional Kazakh soup and shashik. During the lunch, we heard from a number of people and the conversation was really interesting.

Randy Bresnik describing his Space Shuttle mission

Randy Bresnik describing his Space Shuttle mission

Astronaut Mike Finke telling us about being on the International Space Station.

Astronaut Mike Finke telling us about being on the International Space Station.

In addition to hearing from astronauts Randy Bresnik and Mike Finke, Sarah Brightman introduced herself to described the challenge of mastering Cosmonaut training. She talked about how inspired she was by the moon landings and how intense the training was.

Sarah giving us an insight into cosmonaut training.

Sarah giving us an insight into cosmonaut training.

The Yurt team included three astronauts including Scott’s brother Mark Kelly, a space centre director, a world famous performer and cosmonaut trainee, a script writer, a computer scientist, a doctor and more.

The Yurt Team.

Visiting Scott Kelly prior to launch.

Today we visited astronaut Scott Kelly in the quarantine centre.

The outside of the Quarantine Centre in Baikonur.

The outside of the Quarantine Centre in Baikonur.

Scott is currently in quarantine prior to the launch and as such he was behind glass. Scott looked very well, and sounded relaxed and confident, and is clearly looking forward to the mission. His mission to the ISS is due to last one year, and will be the longest any human has spent in space continuously.

Chris Barber with former NASA administrator George Abbey and astronaut Scott Kelly (who is behind glass due to pre launch quarantine).

Chris Barber with former director of Johnson Space Center George Abbey and astronaut Scott Kelly (who is behind glass due to pre launch quarantine).

It was really good to see Scott and speak to him at this exciting time.