Young people at Kibble Education and Care Centre were given the chance to find out first-hand what it takes to live and work in space this week. American astronaut Steve Swanson was visiting The Experience in Hillington Park as part of his ‘Mission Discovery’ tour of Scotland.
Mission Discovery is a summer school programme that aims to inspire young people to learn about science, technology, engineering and maths. The participants get to work with experienced astronauts and rocket scientists to produce science experiments that can be carried out in space.
Steve spoke to the young people about his life as an engineer before being selected to take part in several missions on the International Space Station. In total, he spent over 195 days in space and took part in 5 space walks. He said:
“It wasn’t until I was 25 that I decided that I wanted to become an astronaut. I was always trying to improve myself and to reach my next goal and to go into space seemed like that ultimate target.
“Everyone who works for NASA has a different background and they bring their skills together to help train astronauts for life in a completely different environment. Having zero gravity can make everyday tasks very difficult! But it is also a really fun place to be, almost like a playground.
“That’s what we are speaking to the young people about today. It is to encourage them to think about the different way in which you have to live and work in Space.”
Jim Gillespie, Chief Executive of Kibble Education and Care Centre said:
“To hear Steve talk about his time working for NASA has been a real privilege. I know the young people learnt a lot and posed a few difficult questions themselves about what it takes to be an astronaut.
“At Kibble we place a great deal of emphasis on preparing our young people for fulfilling adult lives. Opportunities to meet people like Steve will hopefully inspire these young people well into the future.”