Member Article

NASA arrives in County Durham

A former NASA astronaut is visiting the North East in a bid to encourage young people to pursue a career in science.

Flight engineer Colonel Ron Garan spent many successful years in the US Airforce prior to his selection for the NASA Space Programme. He was a space shuttle crew member in mission STS 124 and has also spent six months on the International Space Station as a crew member of Expedition 27.

On these trips he has taken part in four space walks totaling 27 hours in the hostile environment outside of the spacecraft, as well as the installation of major components of the International Space Station.

On his visit on the 26th and 27th January, Colonel Ron Garan will visit a number of schools in the region, as well as the North East Technology Park in Sedgefield.

Cllr Claire Vasey, Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “Opportunities like this do not come around often and I am absolutely delighted that so many of our young people will get the chance to hear first hand fascinating and inspirational stories of real life adventure.

“It is through exactly this sort of visit that we can enrich the lives of our students and take them metaphorically beyond the classroom to a world full of challenge and excitement.”

The visit has been organised by the International Space School Education Trust, in conjunction with the County Durham Development Company (CDDC), the business arm of Durham County Council.

Catherine Johns, director of innovation development at CDDC, added: “Col Garan is one of the world’s leading astronauts so who better to inspire the next generation of space explorers and encourage young people to take up science as a career?

“We’re honoured to be playing host to him and look forward to hearing what he has to say about his space exploits, particularly his missions to the International Space Station.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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