My Blog – Year One Highlights!

Over a year ago, I was sat in a York hotel, pondering how I could extend my outreach activities from sporadic school visits into something more permanent. I decided on a Space Blog. And back then I hadn’t even heard of Astro Pi….

So here are the highlights of my first year blogging:

Who can forget watching Philae land on a comet LIVE! Fascinating project, and I’m still doing solely Rosetta Mission talks in schools. I was lucky enough to get some behind the scenes information for a post from an engineer who worked on the project too.

World Space week 2014 was my first as a STEM Ambassador. It was an amazing week, and this year its going to be even better. We are bringing our prototype Mars rover Bridget to Winchester Science Centre for the whole week.

IMG_3212Talking of Mars rovers, what about going to the Classic Car show in London to see Bridget’s brother Bruno, and meeting James May. Having a chat about Raspberry Pi’s and getting him to sign an Astro Pi logo!

Astro Pi – what can I say? I got involved in this purely by accident, and what a ride it has been since. I have made new friends and met kindred spirits in places I could only dream of. Really counting my lucky stars on this one. Doing the shock, vibration and EMC tests in Portsmouth on the flight Astro Pi units was very special, even if it meant long hours grovelling to the Site Director for some funding! I had a real geek-out moment visiting Pi Towers for the judging too.

How long can I make this list?

I started assembling my STEM Mars rover in 2014. The build is going slowly, but with interest rising in the ExoMars mission, I hope to get some free time to progress it further soon.

Just researching and writing my posts has given me great pleasure. Roll on the next year!

Looking forward, there is more work needed on Astro Pi with the phase 2 data logging experiment, and I’m really excited about Tim Peake’s launch to the ISS in December. ( I have some really cool Tim Peake outreach things happening at the moment – but I’m not divulging yet)

I’m giving a talk at a screening of Space Station 3D at the Odeon, Kingston in November for the Into Film Festival. Some of my Astro Pi colleagues are also covering other cinemas across the UK.

I have two trips to the National Space Centre in Leicester booked for National Space Academy career talks later this year which I am looking forward to. Its always good to engage school kids about careers in STEM and have a look around the Space Centre in the same day!

Not forgetting the fast approaching World Space Week 2015. We have some special surprises lined up and its going to be awesome – again. Airbus Defence And Space are also hosting the winner of our category in the Astro Pi phase 1 competition and their family at Winchester Science Centre as our VIP guests for the day.

Have I mentioned that I’m really excited about Tim Peake’s launch in December?

I’ll also have to find some time to do some actual engineering work too, but long may the fun continue!

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