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Image Credit: ESA/NASA

Exeter space experts join astronaut Tim Peake in school project

Researchers from the University of Exeter are taking part in a school project which will feature a live space hook up with the astronaut Tim Peake on the International Space Station (ISS).

Members of the public are being invited along to talks by DrTim Etheridge, Jessica Spake and Dr Alice Mills at The King’s School in Ottery St Mary in Devon on Monday evening [May 9] following the school’s hook up with Tim Peake in the morning.  The school won the privilege of a live Q and A session with the first British astronaut on the ISS in a competition and it will be his final such hook-up with schools before his returning to earth at the end of his six month stay in space. The link-up is provided with a video link via Goonhilly and is hosted by ARISS (Amateur Radio on the ISS).

On Wednesday University researchers Dr Claire Foullon, an expert in solar and space physics, will give a workshop on the mathematics of comets and  Dr Alice Mills, Ogden Science Outreach Officer and expert in astrophysics will be delivering a workshop on measuring the chemistry of space as part of a week-long series of space activities being put on by the school. Dr Mills will also be helping with a space day being put on for the feeder primary schools.

Dr Tim Etheridge, a lecturer in sport and health sciences, who has sent some worms up to the International Space Station as part of his research, will be giving a talk on the effects of zero gravity and spaceflight on the body and Jessica Spake, who is conducting post-graduate research on the atmospheres of planets orbiting distant stars in the search for signs of extra-terrestrial life will be giving a talk entitled ‘Aliens and the weather’.

Dr Mills said:  “Tim Peake’s mission has really captured the imagination and the interest of the public and this is a wonderful opportunity for the University of Exeter to engage young people and the public in our local community with the cutting-edge research that is being undertaken on their doorstep.”

Alison Argent-Wenz who is the STEM leader for the King’s School said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime event for our students at King's and Dr Mills has been instrumental in co-ordinating a wide range of University-led workshops and talks that will enhance their experience and hopefully allow them an insight into the diverse range of STEM opportunities that are available beyond the classroom”

The week will also include activities by members of the Women’s Engineering Society, the Met Office, Starchaser, Norman Lockyer Observatory, Sidmouth Amateur Radio Society, ARISS, the UK Space Agency, Space Odyssey 3D Planetarium and the Institute of Physics.

Date: 9 May 2016

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