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Youths’ project will blast into orbit

Former Nasa space shuttle commander Ken Ham with Glyniffer High School student Julie McKinnon at the launch of Mission Discovery. Photo: Jeff Holmes/PA WireFormer Nasa space shuttle commander Ken Ham with Glyniffer High School student Julie McKinnon at the launch of Mission Discovery. Photo: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire

Hundreds of young Scots have taken part in a week-long space school run by former Nasa astronauts.

About 200 pupils aged 14 to 17 from Renfrewshire joined Mission Discovery, an international educational programme brought to Scotland for the first time this week.

They worked with former astronauts, scientists and trainers to come up with an idea for an experiment to be carried out in space.

The best one will be built and launched to the International Space Station, where astronauts will carry out the experiment.

Those taking part in the space school include ex-Nasa space shuttle commander Ken Ham.

He said: “A wonderful aspect of working with youth is that they come up with the most amazing ideas that none of us old adults can come up with on our own, so it could be from physical sciences to medical sciences, wherever your imagination can take you.

Something that is useful for humanity might be answered by an experiment in micro-gravity

“Something that is useful for humanity and might be answered by an experiment in micro-gravity.”

Other experts included former Nasa astronaut trainer Michelle Ham and Chris Barber, director of the International Space School Educational Trust and Mission Discovery founder.

Renfrewshire’s provost Anne Hall said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome the Mission Discovery team to Scotland for the first time and to be able to offer young people in Renfrewshire this amazing opportunity to benefit from their extensive experience in space travel, research and training.”

Students from the University of West of Scotland and West College Scotland also took part in the space school.

The two institutions are sponsoring Mission Discovery.

Previous summer schools have been held in London, the US and Australia.

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