Space camp lift-off for aspiring astronauts
Would-be astronauts can reach for the stars at a summer camp this month, the Minister of Home Affairs has revealed.
Walter Roban said he was “really excited” about the opportunity for students to learn more about the space industry.
He explained in the House of Assembly that he wanted to develop greater awareness about the key role Bermuda plays in space-related programmes.
Mr Roban said: “We’re having a space camp, for 11 to 14-year-olds this summer.
“The public will hear more about that in the upcoming weeks, but I’m so proud to know that we are having that for our young people, to bring technology and Stem and the innovations of space to their lives.”
The minister told MPs on July 26 that he was reminded of Bermuda’s role in the first Moon landing by the Apollo 11 mission when the historic moment was relived on its 50th anniversary earlier this month.
The Bermudian-based Nasa tracking station was used to help follow the spacecraft, which touched down on the Moon on July 20, 1969.
Mr Roban told MPs: “Bermuda, from the beginning of the space age, whether it be the Mercury missions, all the way down to the shuttle programme, played a crucial role in the advancement of space for the globe, and certainly for the United States but ... these advancements have benefited all of us in so many ways.”
He added that the Progressive Labour Party government was committed to science, technology, engineering and maths education and planned to do more to “help Bermudians understand the importance that Bermuda has in this”.
MPs heard that the US and other countries appeared to be “returning to space in a big way”.
Mr Roban said: “Bermuda’s role in that process has resumed.
“Last year, Nasa returned to Cooper’s Island and it didn’t just return for a mission, they returned for the duration.
“They have missions planned, whether it be an upcoming Antares mission which is in October. They have plans to go to the Moon and to Mars, and Bermuda is going to be playing a role in all of that.
“The equipment is at Cooper’s Island now, for all of those missions, that’s a 20 to 30-year and beyond commitment that Nasa has brought back to Bermuda.”
Nasa opened its new tracking station in St David’s in November.
The site was refurbished as part of a $5.3 million renovation project and supports tracking, command and control of launches from the space agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia and Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Constance Dierman, the US Consul General, said at the time: “Bermuda has long been a vital strategic partner to Nasa, going back to the earliest days of human space flight.
“Today’s dedication ceremony further strengthens that partnership in support of Nasa’s goals to take the next giant leap in exploration and discovery.”
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