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23/9/2015

Blue Abyss @ space to earth challenge

Blue Abyss @ space to earth challenge

School children encouraged to try for out-of-this-world fitness

Space is closer than you think. Schools across the United Kingdom are being invited to take part in a new space race – to stride, swim, scoot, and spin the 400km distance from the International Space Station to Earth.

This triathlon styled challenge has been set by British European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Tim Peake. 175 children will see the challenge be revealed at a special World Space Week on Friday 9 October 2015 hosted by the Cool Aeronautics team at the Royal Aeronautical Society. It’s one of a number of educational opportunities on offer as part of Tim Peake’s Principia mission this December.

Blue Abyss are attending the event to explain how astronauts train underwater. Students will learn the challenge of undertaking complicated projects in a neutrally-buoyant environment such as a training pool. Managing Director John Vickers said, “We are proud to support this exciting event and encourage younger generations to keep fit as well as engage with science and technology. We look forward to following the Principia mission and the schools taking part."

Astronaut Tim Peake has invited children in the UK to exercise alongside him as he trains two hours a day in the world’s highest and fastest-moving gym – one that will be travelling at 27,600 km per hour, and circling the world every 90 minutes at a height of 400 km. Working out so far away from home gives him an amazing view but it can get lonely. Students will be encouraged to share with Tim the views that they have as they train. Tim is especially keen on space-based training that will support his triathlon interests in cycling, running and swimming. Schools who take part in the Space to Earth Challenge will be encouraged to create their own "spaceathlons' of a trio of space, sport and science activities. The schools who can demonstrate the most innovation and engagement in the space, sport, and science activities will be invited to take part in a unique visit to the European Astronaut Centre to see how Tim will be recovering post flight in May 2016. 

Other prizes are available for schools taking part include a diving class from the expert team at Blue Abyss.

The event on 9 October is hosted by television presenter Dallas Campbell. Speakers include Libby Jackson, a former mission controller who heads up the Tim Peake education programme. Mike Jubb, from the British Triathlon Trust will challenge students and teachers to a triathlon head to head including a space suit transition competition. Dr Helen Mason OBE will look at how light affects the performance of athletes and astronauts. Louie Stowell, author of the Usborne Official Astronaut Handbook will give insights into everything a beginner astronaut should know. Lorraine Coghill from Durham University will have show how smart materials overcome challenges on and off world. Laura Thomas, LFT Consulting and divers from Blue Abyss will show how astronauts simulate weightlessness as they train in some of the biggest swimming pools in the world. The challenge is being managed by the Ideas Foundation and Venture Thinking.

The distance of 400 km is just one of a series of space-themed sports and Science, Technology, Engineering, Art Mathematics (STEM) challenge that students can try. The sports and science challenges have been designed by experts from the European Astronaut Centre, British Triathlon Trust, University of Cambridge, Kings College London, Blue Abyss, LFT Consulting,, The Institution of Engineering and Technology and Durham University. Further resources are being developed by the University of Southampton, Queen Mary University of London, Teesside University and Manchester Metropolitan University and the United Learning Trust.

Schools across the country can sign up for the FREE challenge and resources on  www.spacetoearthchallenge.org.uk 

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Posted in Events | Space

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