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Member News: Space Intelligence supports live link to International Space Station

School children from across Scotland will have their questions answered live by two astronauts aboard the International Space Station next month. Dr Murray Collins, CEO and co-founder of Bayes Centre member, Space Intelligence will be co-hosting the watch party.

On 8th April, NASA will open a live link to the earth-orbiting laboratory and will play videos of the children asking questions for Kate Rubins and Mike Hopkins to answer.
 
It’s part of an international project organised by Scot Professor David Alexander OBE, who is the director of the Space Institute at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He brought together an international team from Scotland,Houston and Ecuador to take advantage of the opportunity to talk live to the astronauts.
 

“It’s been a tough year for school children acrossthe world, so we wanted to give them a unique opportunity, and the chance to talk to an astronautis hard to beat”

“The exploration of space is an international endeavour.I really wanted to involve schools from different countries and backgrounds and being a proud Scot here in Texas, Scotland was the first place on my list. Together with Houston and Guayaquil in Ecuador we have the opportunity to not only explore space but different cultures. We’re hoping it will be the start of something exciting, creating great relationships and inspiring students to pursue opportunities in the space sector. Talking live to the Space Station is avery rare event - we were so thrilled with the excitementit generated in theparticipating schools.”

Professor David Alexander OBEDirector of the Space Institute
The live link will form the centrepiece of a free two hour online watch party called “Let’s Talk Space -Beaming schools from Scotland, Houstonand Ecuador onto the Space Station”. This is the world’s ultimate school field trip; allowing school children to escapel ockdown... and gravity.
 
The watch party will feature Bonnie Dunbar, one ofo nly 65 women to go into space, whose grandfather was born in Dundee and crossed the Atlantic to the ‘New World’ inthe late 1800s.  The event will also feature the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon; the Mayorof Houston, Sylvester Turner and the former Presidentof Ecuador, Rosalia Arteaga.
 
Hosted by Connect and chaired by broadcaster Kim McAllister and Dr Murray Collins, space lead at the University of Edinburgh, the watch party will offer the chance for attendees to ask questions and hear from an international panel of space experts.
 

Bringing two more female astronauts to the party is a very rare treat. It’s been so exciting pulling all the elements of this event together. Kate Rubins herself suggested assigning her live crew link to the Rice Space Institute - David then decided toopen up that opportunity to this group of schools. Scottish Enterprise helped with the schools outreach, and seeing all the submissions come in from Houston and Guayaquil was brilliant. It’s just a great showcase of partnership working for the benefit ofeducation - I can’t wait for all the children to see the astronauts answer their questionsin zero gravity!

Kim McAllisterEvent producer and host