Our first rocket launch…

Our first rocket launch…

Earlier this year, we were enormously proud to lead a team that won the “Best Mission Concept” award in NASA’s global Space Apps Challenge. The prize was an invitation to attend the first test launch of NASA’s new deep space spacecraft Orion at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

So this week, with some financial support from UK Trade and Industry that’s where I’m going. And there’s part of me knows that I should make out that I’m totally cool with that and that’s just the type of thing that the Director of Human Spaceflight Operations for a space agency *should* be doing but GUYS I’M GOING TO BE AT THE LAUNCH OF A NEW EXPERIMENTAL DEEP SPACE SPACECRAFT AS A GUEST OF NASA AND IT’S TOTALLY AMAZING.

OK, I’m cool again.

Beyond attending the launch in Florida where I’ll be hooking up with some of the other Space Apps winners and Kennedy Space Centre staff, I wanted to really make the most out of the opportunity. We’re in pre-production for a great new project we’re running next year to celebrate and coincide with our patron Tim Peake’s mission to the International Space Station – The Astro Challenge. We already have some very excellent partners in the UK including the UK Space Agency, the Met Office and Young Rewired State and we’re keen to develop relationships with more.

So before I head to Florida for the Orion launch, I’m stopping off in San Francisco to meet with the guys at Electric Imp about how we might develop some internet connected space clothing, dropping by at Made in Space to check out their micro gravity 3D printing programme and visit Exploratorium s who do some amazing work in science education.

Then I’ll be heading to Houston to meet with some of the friendly folk at NASA’s Education team and a catch up with the awesome Tim Peake (we really couldn’t hope for a more brilliant, generous and committed patron).

And then finally, as the icing on my Space Tour cake, I’ll head to Orlando to fulfil one of my life’s dreams and get as close as it is possible to be to a rocket launch. Unless you’re inside the rocket.

I’ll be tweeting facts, photos, news and trivia from @unspaceagency all week if you’d like to follow me there.



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