Posted: Sat 9th Apr 2016

Students Work With NASA

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Apr 9th, 2016

Water fleas are being launched to the International Space Station today (Friday) as part of an experiment conceived by Rhondda Cynon Taf students. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The crustaceans will be on their way to British astronaut Major Tim Peake at the International Space Station following a launch scheduled from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 21:43 BST. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Major Peake will be looking to see how they reproduce in space and whether they can survive. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Six students from the County Borough came up with the idea for the experiment and won Mission Discovery 2013, an initiative aimed at secondary school students from Year 9-13, allowing them to carry out biomedical research with NASA astronauts, rocket scientists and trainers for a week at one of the best biomedical universities in the world. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Astronaut Mike Foale, the first Briton to perform a space walk, worked on the project with Liam Collins-Jones, Rhiannydd Thomas, Sion Phillips and Trystan Gruffydd, of Ysgol Gyfun Garth Olwg in Church Village, Georgia Bailey, of Tonyrefail Comprehensive School, and Ieuan Williams, of Aberdare High School. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Eudine Hanagan, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “This is such a massive project for our young students to be involved in. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we send the six students our congratulations. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Our County Borough has a proud tradition of producing some of the finest people in the world in their chosen fields, from entertainers to academics and scientists – none more so than Aberdare-born Lyn Evans, who went on to become Director of CERN in Geneva and responsible for a £1 billion project designing and building the world’s biggest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Dr Lyn Evans was himself a student in Rhondda Cynon Taf before going to university to pursue his chosen career. Who knows what the future holds for our six inspirational students who are already working with world leaders, including NASA. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Their experiment today truly is out of this world and everyone will be watching its developments with great excitement.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The water fleas, or Daphnia, have been taken from a scientific pond at the University of Birmingham, where they have been bred for this purpose, to see how they react to life in space. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The students have been working with experts in this field, preparing them for the more technical aspects of the experiment. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Chris Barber, Director of the International Space School Education Trust, said: “Mission Discovery gives ordinary young people the chance to do something extraordinary. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We are incredibly pleased to be enabling such amazing opportunities for school students in south Wales.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The International Space School Educational Trust works in partnership with some of the world’s leading space organisations – such as NASA – to deliver unique learning opportunities for students of all ages across the world. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The water fleas are among five experiments on board the rocket being launched in America. They were originally due to be sent into space June last year, but The International Space School Educational Trust said the explosion of three separate unmanned US rockets delayed the human space programme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales



More from Rhondda Council

Plans Revealed for Fourth Phase of Rhondda Fach Active Travel Route

Rhondda Council

Smallest School in Rhondda Cynon Taf to Close Despite Strong Opposition

Rhondda Council

Approval Granted for New Drive-Through Unit in Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT)

Rhondda Council

Controls on street trading to be extended throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf amid concerns over mobile food vendors

Rhondda Council

Plans for Congestion Charge in RCT Unlikely, Council Leader Suggests Redistribution of Funds from Cardiff Charge

Rhondda Council

Patients Readied for Discharge in Welsh Health Board Area – Equivalent of One Hospital Full

Rhondda Council

Latest from News.Wales

Public Consultation Launched for ‘No-Gas’ Housing Development Near Maesteg

Bridgend Council

Opponents of Proposed “Super-Estate” in Wrexham Call for Public Meeting

Wrexham Council

Disused Newport leisure centre deemed safe by council officials

Newport Council

Plans Revealed for Fourth Phase of Rhondda Fach Active Travel Route

Rhondda Council

Fear of Diluted Local Voice in Vale of Glamorgan Community Council Changes

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Smallest School in Rhondda Cynon Taf to Close Despite Strong Opposition

Rhondda Council