September 12, 2008

‘Perfect’ Space Crew Touch Down to Inspire City

By Fiona Evans

The team of seven, who have just returned from a space shuttle mission to the International Space Station, were given a civic reception with the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Howard Middleton, before talking to schoolchildren about their mission, which NASA described as the "nearest to perfect" ever achieved.The crew, whose trip aims to motivate young people, also met staff and students at Bradford College and Bradford University as part of their two-day mission to West Yorkshire.At the University of Bradford, they joined headteachers and academics to discuss ways of using space, including aliens and black holes, to motivate children in education.Students from some of the district's other secondary schools are due to meet the crew today, ahead of a voyage to the Yorkshire Planetarium at Harewood House.The visit was organised by Bradford-based Space Connections and Bradford College with YES net a network of providers of space activity within education across the Yorkshire region and supported by Yorkshire Forward.Mike Bridge, assistant director of West Yorkshire from Yorkshire Forward, said: "To have these astronauts visiting Yorkshire is a huge honour, and it will do a great deal to boost interest and enthusiasm among the young people of Bradford."Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are already of vital importance to the region's economy, and we need to make sure that young people continue to see these as stimulating and rewarding areas in terms of study and career options."

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