Students get chance to carry out space experiments

Students across Dover & Deal have the chance to carry out special experiments by sending a high-altitude balloon 30 kilometres above the earth.

Thales Alenia Space’s MARSBalloon project involves school students and science clubs working together to send capsules into the sky more than twice the height of commercial airliners.

I met with the MARSBalloon team in Parliament and am encouraging schools in the area to take part. This seemed to me like a really special project that youngsters across Dover & Deal should have the chance to get involved with. This is about inspiring the next generation of scientists, so as a country we continue to play a leading role in technology and innovation.

Students will create Mars experiments that fit inside a Kinder Egg capsule which will be sent into conditions similar to the surface of Mars, with temperatures of -50C, pressures of one per cent of sea level, and increased radiation.

It will allow students to test the response of electronics, materials, plants and even food to the conditions outside of a future Mars base, helping future explorers prepare for the markedly different environment.

The project is open to secondary and primary school pupils across the UK. The deadline for schools to register is April 3, with the launch of the balloon taking place in early June.

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