A Manx woman who attended the United Space School in Houston, Texas, in 2017 is returning for another mission this summer - as a mentor for the class of 2024.

It is the second year running that Ciara Sowerby will act as mentor for students from around the globe who have won places at this year’s Space School.

Organised by the Foundation for International Space Education, it sees peers from around 20 countries worldwide plan a simulated crewed mission to Mars, supported by NASA astronauts, engineers and scientists.

Each year River Advisers awards scholarships to Isle of Man sixth formers to attend Space School and Ciara was a student at Ballakermeen High School when she was successful in 2017.

Ciara now lives in London, where she works as a Junior Consultant at MH&A, a management consultancy specialising in education and economic development for the UK public sector.

She said: ‘Going to Space School truly changed my life – it got me really into physics, which I then went on to graduate in two years ago.

‘One thing led to another and I was invited back to mentor to Space School in 2023, and then again this year. I couldn’t have done it without the support of River Advisers.

‘Space School is a wonderful initiative, where up to 50 students from around the world not only enjoy the hospitality of Texas, but also complete project work together.

‘They learn the basics of rocket science, space communications and lots more, but also how to work across international boundaries.

‘I am looking forward to July when I’ll get to meet the class of 2024.’

River Advisers (formerly the ManSat Group) has been awarding scholarships to the United Space School since 2000, in cooperation with the Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC).