Have you ever wanted to hear first hand what it’s like to survive a collision in space or to repair the Hubble Telescope whilst orbiting the Earth? Michael Foale, former NASA astronaut and the first UK born citizen to perform a space walk, answered these and other questions in conversation with Oxford University physicist Frank Close, OBE at Abingdon School. The event, which was organised by Abingdon School and ISSET, the International Space School Educational Trust, thrilled the audience of all age groups. Prior to the evening event, the Abingdon Science Partnership, which promotes science in the local community, had arranged for Michael to speak to pupils from local schools including Fitzharrys and Larkmead about his experience and to give advice about careers in space.
Mike’s audiences were very enthusiastic about what they heard:
Conrad Smith, aged 13, said, "Mike Foale was inspirational, he showed how you can be a normal person and if you work hard enough you can do anything, even get to space."
Ben Shaw, aged 13, added, "It was really interesting to hear how simple things like eating can be a problem in space and how you solve them."
British-American astrophysicist Michael Foale, PhD, CBE, is a veteran of six Space Shuttle missions and extended missions on both Mir and the International Space Station. He holds the cumulative-time-in-space record for a UK born citizen, 374 days, 11 hours, 19 minutes including four space walks totaling 22 hours and 44 minutes.