Ayrshire College Meets the Astronauts

Ayrshire College Meets the Astronauts

Ayrshire College hosted a special ‘Meet the Astronaut’ event on 27 August at the Ayr Campus to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11.

Organised by Scottish Enterprise, two former NASA astronauts, Mike Baker and Rick Heib, travelled to Scotland to inspire the next generation and broaden ideas of where a career in STEM could lead to.

Over 250 people attended the 50th Anniversary event to hear and meet the astronauts, who discussed how they became an astronaut and, of course, about their adventures in space.

Both astronauts have had remarkable achievements throughout their career, with Mike Baker logging a total of 965 hours in space and Rick Heib taking part in the first-ever three-person spacewalk, which was the longest in history at 8 hours and 29 minutes.

Fiona Clark, Leadership & Learning Business Partner at Scottish Enterprise said “we are delighted to be able to work with The Scottish Space School Foundation and NASA to bring astronauts and scientists to Ayrshire College to inspire the young people of Ayrshire.

“The aerospace sector does and will continue to provide endless opportunities in Scotland and the two astronauts, brought this exciting career to life by providing their insights and experiences of space."

Acclaimed Scottish scientist, David Alexander OBE, Director of the Rice Space Institute in the USA, also attended and said “we are here to inspire young people in Ayrshire to reach their goals. We want to encourage people to learn more about how Scottish technology businesses are making the most of this exciting industry, and to consider a career in Aerospace, all while exploring the wonders of space!”

Stuart Millar, Head of Apprenticeships and Work Based Learning at the College added “Ayrshire has a long and rich heritage of aerospace engineering, particularly around Prestwick Airport. With continued growth in this sector and investment from the Ayrshire Growth Deal potentially leading to a Spaceport on our doorstep, there are likely to be huge opportunities for careers in aerospace engineering, science and space technology.

“It was a pleasure to welcome NASA and The Rice Space Institute to Ayrshire to hear their stories and help inspire our young people to follow this exciting career path. Who knows, maybe the first generation of Scottish astronauts were in the room this evening!”

28 August 2019

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