Mission Discovery gets ready to blast off Mission Discovery gets ready to blast off
Nearly 200 young people from Renfrewshire are preparing to launch their future careers into orbit by joining former NASA astronauts and scientists on a... Mission Discovery gets ready to blast off

Nearly 200 young people from Renfrewshire are preparing to launch their future careers into orbit by joining former NASA astronauts and scientists on a week-long space school.

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Mission Discovery Renfrewshire returns at the end of June, with local school pupils and students getting to work hand in hand with a panel of space experts to design experiments that could be launched into space.

It is only the second time Mission Discovery has taken place in Scotland, having first been brought to Paisley in 2014.

This year the panel of experts will include Stephen Bowen, who has completed three spaceflights to the International Space Station and is the first and only astronaut to fly on consecutive shuttle missions.

This unique educational programme, run by International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET), gives young people the chance to learn:

  • NASA leadership, team building and personal development skills
  • About biomedical research
  • How space exploration benefits life on earth
  • What the space environment feels like (from those who know)
  • About scientific research, experiments and innovation – on earth and in space

Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “I am delighted to be welcoming the team from ISSET back to Renfrewshire and really excited for all those taking part.

“We want to raise young people’s awareness of career opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths. Mission Discovery is an amazing way of doing that by providing the opportunity for young people to not only meet but work alongside astronauts and scientists from the highest level.

“A key aspiration of Mission Discovery Renfrewshire is also to ensure that all young people have the opportunity to develop their academic potential, irrespective of social background. Thanks to our wide range of sponsors from the business community we are able to offer this programme to all young people free of charge.”

Mission Discovery is being offered to Renfrewshire school pupils as part of a drive to establish Renfrewshire as a centre for excellence in the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Last year’s winning team, Apollo 12, developed an experiment to test bacteria to help find a cure for the eye condition conjunctivitis. Their experiment is due to be tested on the International Space Station this summer.

Mission Discovery Renfrewshire 2015 is sponsored by University of the West of Scotland, West College Scotland, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, Clyde Marine Training, Fission Creative, Muir Slicer Associates Ltd, PM Information Solutions Ltd, Scottish Leather Group Ltd, The Experience – Kibble, Peak Scientific, Thermo Fisher and 29 Studios.

A programme of public events will also run throughout Mission Discovery Space Week, 29 June – 3 July. For more details go to www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/missiondiscovery