Planning a mission to Mars

By Siobhan Fletcher   |   Reporter   |
Sunday 24th July 2022 5:21 pm
@siobhanfletcher
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Isle of Man students Daniel Millward, Chalse Cowin and Michael Behrman, who won this year’s ManSat scholarships to the United Space School in Houston ()

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Students from the Isle of Man are all set to visit NASA in Houston later this month.

They will be taking part in the first United Space School to meet in person since the Covid pandemic began.

Daniel Millward and Michael Behrman, who both attend Castle Rushen High School, and King William’s College student Chalse Cowin will fly to the United States for the two-week Space School, which starts on July 24.

The year 12 pupils won an annual competition organised by the ManSat Group, which has been sponsoring students to attend the United Space School since 2000.

For the last two years, the Space School was held virtually because of Covid, with participants linking up by video. However, this year, students are excited to be able to meet up in person with peers from around the world, when their challenge will be to plan a mission to Mars.

Mr Millward is studying physics, maths, further maths and music at A-level and has his sights set on a career as a mechanical or aerospace engineer, Mr Behrman is studying maths, further maths, computer science and physics, and Mr Cowin is studying higher maths, physics and Spanish, with the aim of studying either astrophysics or geology at university.

Mr Millward said: ‘I have been talking to other students from around the world who are attending this year, learning more about their interests and cultures.

‘We will be taking part in a culture fair, for which students are asked to prepare a dish native to our country. I’m still trying to figure out if we can somehow get some queenies or kippers in Texas, otherwise we might be making chips, cheese, and gravy!’

Mr Behrman said: ‘I want to study either aerospace engineering or astrophysics at university and my dream is to work for a rocket company like SpaceX or Rocket Lab.

‘For preparation for Space School, we have all been set assignments, each on various aspects of a mission to Mars.

‘My favourite assignment was unquestionably the red team challenge which looked at rocket engines and orbital mechanics. These are the kinds of things I am most looking forward to learning about at the school.’

Mr Cowin added: ‘Working towards a common goal with people who have a shared interest is something I’m really looking forward to. I’ve already started talking to some of the people who are attending, and I can’t wait to work with them all in Houston.

‘I’d like to offer my thanks to ManSat for creating this fantastic opportunity for Isle of Man students.’

The USS scholarships are awarded by the ManSat Group in cooperation with the DESC.

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