Mission Discovery Delhi Team Arrives in India

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The team has just arrived in Delhi to carry out a 5 day Mission Discovery (see below) with 230 excited students. The team includes Commander, Steve Swanson, NASA’s Deputy Chief of EVA, Robotics and ISS System Sarah Murray and ISSET Director Chris Barber. These guys are pictured in Agra visiting the Red Fort and the magnificent Taj Mahal, a 15th Century mausoleum designed to house the Mughal Emperor’s favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
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They also went along to meet the ladies of ‘Sheroes’. They have set up a cafe and hang-out for survivors, like themselves of the vicious crime of acid attacks. Such crimes have often been carried out by relatives who the survivors previously thought of as ‘loved-ones’. The ladies seek to raise awareness to stamp out this senseless and unjustifiable brutality towards women and spread a message of hope for future promise to survivors.
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Astronaut Steve Swanson, NASA Deputy Chief Sarah Murray and ISSET Director Chris Barber with the inspirational team that run ‘Sheroes’ in Agra

The work of Sheroes supports the women survivors in getting education, work and raising their families. Please take a look at the web site and seriously consider donating to help the women who have suffered front this horrific and unthinkable savagery.
Note: Mission Discovery is a week long programme that enables students to learn directly from astronauts, NASA leaders and world renown scientists. The students work in teams to come up with a design for an experiment to be carried out on the International Space Station by astronauts as they orbit the Earth.

Coming soon: Mission Discovery: Kings College London July 2017 – students are signing up right now, visit our website for more details.

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Follow in the footsteps of Tim Peake

Astronaut Tim Peake successfully left Earth’s atmosphere at 11:03am this morning, 15 Dec 2015, to embark on his six-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Tim and his crewmate Yuri Malenchenko, will be joining ISSET colleague and NASA’s Space Station Commander Scott Kelly at 17:23 on the ISS.

The road to space exploration has been a long one for Tim. Until May 2009 Tim served in the Army Air Corps flying Apache helicopters. Following this, he was accepted by the European Space Agency (ESA) as a British astronaut. Tim then went on to complete his first year of basic astronaut training.

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Major Tim Peake, along with many astronauts and cosmonauts before him, proceeded to spend 6,000 hours of intense training at the Yuri Gagarin high-security Cosmonaut Training Complex in Star City near Moscow, Russia. His training included a wide range of experiences including; simulating g-loads, mission specific, suit training, medical observation and medical testing, and astronavigation. Incredibly, the centre is home to full-size mock ups of all major spacecraft developed since the Soviet era including the Soyuz (used today) and Buran Vehicles.

Tim also completed outdoor wilderness survival training, learning from Russia’s most highly regarded wilderness experts. It is essential that all astronauts and cosmonauts are equipped with team building, lifesaving and survival skills in case the Soyuz Capsule lands off target upon re-entry to Earth.

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Tim and his crewmates during their wilderness survival training

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ISSET Students completing wilderness survival training

ISSET are now offering YOU the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of astronaut Tim Peake and experience what it’s like to train like a cosmonaut!

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There’s a fun side to space and what we do and the educational programmes we run, but when it comes to actually getting into a Soyuz rocket – and the operational tasks that we have to peform – you need to be focused and serious.” – Astronaut Tim Peake

Spend the week with British born, 6 times record-breaking astronaut Michael Foale, at the Yuri Gagarin high-security Cosmonaut Training Complex in Star City from 26th March – 1st April, 2016.

  • Learn from Tim’s instructors on the same equipment which he spent the last two years training on.
  • Sit in the cockpit of Russia’s ‘Buran’ Space Shuttle experiencing what it’s like to be a cosmonaut.
  • Try on one of the retired Sokol Space Suits worn by cosmonauts in space.
  • Test your pilot skills and see whether you could dock the Soyuz Rocket to the ISS.
  • Challenge your leadership skills in Star City’s Wilderness Survival Training, a key factor in any cosmonaut and astronaut training.
Under the MIR Space Station Command Module with 6 times Astronaut and programme leader, Michael Foale

Under the Mir Space Station Command Module with 6 times astronaut and programme leader, Michael Foale

 

This experience has been life-changing and will stay with us for the rest of our lives.” – David Casson, past participant from Kent, UK

For more information on how you can join the world’s elite and train like a cosmonaut/astronaut visit:

WWW.ISSET.ORG

Or Contact ISSET on: 029 2071 0295

Astronaut Visit: Ken Bowersox – October 2015

This October, ISSET will be bringing American NASA Astronaut Ken Bowersox to the United Kingdom.

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Ken is a NASA Astronaut with experience of five Space Shuttle Missions, two as Commander and a long duration space mission as the Commander of the International Space Station.

An Evening with Ken Bowersox will be taking place on the 15th October in association with our partners ‘Pint of Science’. This event is a chance to come and hear all about space missions with a real NASA astronaut and a former Director of Kennedy Space Center, Jay Honeycutt. The evening will also include some exciting presentations from lecturers at King’s College, London. Professor Steve Harridge will be teaching us about ‘The effect of Space travel on muscles’ and Dr. Julie Keeble will be filling us in on the topic of ‘Student experiments on the International Space Station’. Tickets can be purchased at this link.

Ken will also be leading the Astronaut Leadership Experience Programme in the Lake District as part of his visit. This programme is taking place on 16th – 18th October, 2015. You can sign up here for this programme.

ISSETs LIVE Link-up with Astronaut Scott Kelly, aboard the International Space Station

Last Wednesday, a sold out audience of 500+ people at the Greenwood Theatre, King’s College London were lucky enough to be part of a live video conference and Q&A with Astronaut Scott Kelly, from aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The momentous evening was hosted by record-breaking Astronaut Mike Foale, along with director and founder of ISSET, Chris Barber and Professor of Human & Applied Physiology at King’s College, London, Steve Harridge. The event was held by ISSET in partnership with Pint of Science and took place during our week long ‘Mission Discovery‘ Space & STEM programme.

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Chris and Steve opened the night by touching briefly on Chris’ time spent with Scott prior to his launch in March earlier this year. Before long, the nod was given by Houston Mission Control to begin the video link up with the ISS. Scott appeared on screen evoking a roaring applause, but the audience were left hanging in suspense in the following moments as there was no reaction or response from him. Houston, unfortunately, had a problem.

We knew that Scott would be unable to see us on the ISS, but there seemed to be a fault with the sound. After some cutting silence, Scott reached for a second mic and, much to everyones relief, his voice was beamed through to the theatre, receiving an even greater applause. We had made contact with the Space Station. The video conference was now underway and it was a very exciting realisation.

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Director of ISSET Chris Barber asked Scott about a conspiracy theory that his twin brother Mark Kelly is actually on the ISS and not him, to which he replied:

“Well Chris…I’m pretty sure it’s me.”

The humour continued throughout the talk. When answering a question about food taste in space, Chris added that Mike Foale had been for a nice dinner earlier that evening, which produced a big smile on Scott’s face.

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Many great questions were asked during the evening, but perhaps the most poignant of all was “Has being in space changed your perception of life on Earth?” Scott answered that two things come to mind:

“One that the Earth doesn’t look all that big. There are no political borders that you can see, so it makes it seem like everyone’s kind of a citizen of one planet – planet Earth, versus any particular country. The second thing is that the atmosphere that keeps us alive is actually very thin and should be protected.

The link-up ended in style with Scott somersaulting backwards in the weightless microgravity environment to masses of applause. It was a truly memorable evening for all.

Scott is spending one year in space on the International Space Station. He and Russian astronaut Mikhail Korniyenko have been there since 27 March 2015 and the goal of the year-long expedition aboard the orbiting laboratory is to understand better how the human body reacts and adapts to the harsh environment of space.

You can watch the full video conference below:

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.

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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.

Remembering Astronaut Rick Husband, Commander of STS-107 Columbia

We had the great privilege to meet, work with and know Rick Husband, the astronaut and Commander of STS-107 Columbia which blew up on 1 February 2003, tragically killing all of the astronauts on board.

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We first met Rick when he and Canadian astronaut Julie Payette visited the UK on an ISSET tour of schools, colleges and universities. Without question Rick was as able, nice and generous a person anybody could ever hope to meet. He is missed by us, like anyone who had known him.

We have included some images of Rick on his visit to schools and Wales and our cultural and enjoyable day out at Tintern Abbey.

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Director and founder of ISSET, Chris Barber with Astronauts Rick Husband and Julie Payette.

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At the top of Tintern Abbey, Chepstow with Astronauts Rick Husband and Julie Payette.

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With Rick Husband and Julie Payette atlanta college

Rick is really fondly remembered by all of us and we are still grateful for his contributions to our programme and young people.

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“If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right”

NASA Astronaut Visit – Mike Foale – March 2015

In March 2015, ISSET will be bringing former NASA Astronaut and International Space Station Commander Mike Foale to the United Kingdom once more.

NASA Astronaut Mike Foale at UK School

Mike is the most experienced British born astronaut in the history of human space travel having flown on 6 Space Shuttle missions, a Soyuz and commanded the International Space Stations. He was the first Briton to perform a spacewalk, during which he saved the Hubble Space Telescope.

During his visit, Mike will inspire and motivate people across the UK. He will also lead the Astronaut Leadership Experience Programme in the Lake District 5th – 8th March, 2015 – You can view further details and sign up for this programme at our website.