For more than 14 years there has been a continuous human presence in space and most of the time, six people are living at the International Space Station. This poses a lot of different challenges:
- How do we safely get people up and down from the space station and also supply them with their needs?
- How do we keep the crew safe in space?
- How does being in space affect the human body and how can we deal with that?
- All this requires a lot of knowledge, technology and money. So why do we go to space in the first place? Is it really worth it?
For the last three months, students at Longfield Academy have studied a university style course looking at these questions. The students have investigated human psychology and physiology to understand the impact on humans; looked at how the space environment affects machines and technology and looked for solutions to these problems. They have investigated the research that is carried out at the space station and how that benefits us humans back on the earth. Finally, they all weighed up the benefits and disadvantages and answered the question: if you were given the opportunity, would you go?
Through this course the students were given a feel of how it is to study at university and what is takes. They all completed with good grades, with five of them getting the top mark and showing skills beyond expectations at undergraduate level. As an award for completing the course they were given the opportunity to visit King’s College London to see the university and talk to current students. They were given good advice on what to consider when deciding on university and how to get in to a highly selective university like King’s College London.