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World Growing Manx space industry 'rooted in youth'

16:55  21 september  2021
16:55  21 september  2021 Source:   bbc.com

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Growing the Manx space industry is rooted in developing opportunities for young people, a scientist has said.

It comes after three students won places on a space school programme, normally held in the United States.

The annual initiative started out in 2000 for just one competition winner, and has since grown to three.

Dr Jennifer Stone was the first Manx recipient and said the scheme's development showed students that local opportunities in the industry do exist.

She is now island satellite company ManSat's chief technical officer, which facilitates the programme run by the Foundation for International Space Education.

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"Being on the Isle of Man, the idea of being able to work in the space industry, it's maybe not incredibly obvious," she said.

"This competition helps to open students eyes to see that those opportunities do exist."

Dr Stone has also called for the establishment of more internship and work experience programmes.

a group of people standing next to a woman: (L-R) Anna, David and Winona received their awards in Douglas © BBC (L-R) Anna, David and Winona received their awards in Douglas

Students David, Anna and Winona were chosen by Nasa this year to receive a place, among peers from more than 20 countries.

This year the programme was held virtually as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic for the second time.

Winona said she was looking at studying aerospace engineering after sixth form, and the experience had reaffirmed that aim.

David said it was "amazing" to speak to people all over the world and the process had changed his perception of online learning.

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Anna said her highlight was "the Q and A session with Chris Hadfield, his insight and his perception on space and the world, it was incredible".

Dr Stone said to keep growing opportunities in the island's space industry and in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, ManSat should keep "increasing the scope of the competition" and the broader opportunities available.

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