Astronaut Visit

Astor of Hever
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On the 2nd of July 2010 Astor of Hever Community School students welcomed Garrett Reisman, a mission specialist on the latest Space Shuttle Atlantis mission, STS -132.

Students enjoyed a day of astronaut themed activities.



Year 7 students designed and modelled tools for use whilst on a spacewalk. Designs included solar powered glue guns and spring -loaded wrenches to loosen bolts on the International Space Station. Students were able to discuss their designs with Garrett and get advice on how they could complete the task at hand.



Year 8 students were tasked with building the arms of a suit for space walking. They were provided with materials but had to ensure range of movement and durability of use. Many of the students produced impressive and innovative designs.


All students had the opportunity to listen to Garrett explain about his life and work.

Students were enthralled by his captivating video of the recent STS 132 mission to deliver an Integrated Cargo Carrier and a Russian-build Mini Research Module to the International Space Station. During 7 days of docked operations, three spacewalks were conducted and Reisman logged 14 hours and 01 minutes of EVA in two spacewalks. Enthusiasm grew as students had the opportunity to ask questions about all aspects of space and living on the International Space Station. Garrett’s animated answers and willingness to illustrate details with real images were truly awe inspiring.

Our older students had the opportunity share lunch with Garrett and asked in depth questions about the psychological effects of such space missions as well as the future of the space program. Following this discussion these students spent time using the real-time control interface of the Faulkes Telescope. This enabled students to control a telescope in Hawaii and capture images of objects deep in space. Students were keenly interested in controlling such a powerful piece of equipment over the internet. Year 10 students captured images of galaxies and nebulae.

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During the day Astor students also hosted students from two visiting local schools.




Students from Wrotham School joined in designing space tools and displayed excellent teamwork skills working with groups of Astor students they had not previously met.





Students from Holmesdale Technology College got busy building space suit arms and evaluating their range of movements.



 All students and staff hugely enjoyed this astronaut themed day. Meeting Garrett was truly an amazing and inspirational experience. Many students wrote letters of thanks outlining how inspired they felt and how excited and eager they are to learn more about careers in the space industry.






Perhaps we have encouraged our very own students to boldly go!