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Flight of the space shuttles

University of Birmingham, Poynting Physics Building
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Saturday 19th March 2011 (10:00-16:00)
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The University of Birmingham’s Astronomical Society and the School of Physics and Astronomy present an exciting day of activities and talks for all ages to celebrate the space shuttle and commemorate its forthcoming retirement this summer.

Coinciding with National Science and Engineering Week, the Flight of the Space Shuttles is a community outreach day offering a host of events suitable for all ages.

Activities taking place throughout the day include:

• Build, decorate and launch your own rocket

• Discover just how big the Solar System really is with a scale-size tour around campus

• Make and test a safe Earth re-entry vehicle from household objects to land an egg

There will also be two guest speakers giving talks:

‘Taking part in a Shuttle mission: Spacelab 2’ by Professor Peter Willmore, Emeritus Professor at the University of Birmingham

Professor Willmore, project leader of XRT, an X-ray telescope which was built by physicists at the University of Birmingham and flew onboard the Spacelab 2 Challenger Space Shuttle mission in 1985, will recount his team’s pioneering use of coded mask telescopes in the first instrument to image the centre of our galaxy at high energy X-ray levels.

‘Human spaceflight – 5 decades of triumphs and tragedies – and what does this bode for the future of our species?’ by Anu Ojha, the European Space Agency’s Space Ambassador

Anu will explore why human spaceflight pushes science and engineering to the limits of human ingenuity and investigate what’s next for the US, Russian and other international endeavours in human exploration.

The outreach day is free of charge and open to all.

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