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School pupils complete Mission X ‘Train Like an Astronaut’ programme at QinetiQ’s Centrifuge facility

Students and teachers taking part in the hugely popular science, education and fitness programme, Mission X ‘Train Like An Astronaut’, took their astronaut training to a new level with a unique visit to the long arm centrifuge facility at QinetiQ in Farnborough on Wednesday 12 June 2013.

Students from three Mission X Schools – Kingswinford in Dudley, Northbury in Barking and Dagenham and Mountfitchet Mathematics and Computing College in Essex – completed the Mission X programme with demonstrations of how astronauts train for launch and landing in the long arm centrifuge made famous in the Moonraker film.

Pupils had the opportunity to meet a range of space experts to discuss astronaut training and learnt first hand about QinetiQ’s involvement in space training, past and present. Several brave teachers even had the opportunity to participate in the centrifuge experience – with their health and performance monitored by their students!

Jeremy Curtis from the UK Space Agency will present participants with their Astronaut Graduation certificates, signed by British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake.

Tim Peake, British ESA Astronaut says: “Once again Mission X has been a fantastic success in the UK and across Europe - congratulations to all those who have taken part. It has been great fun meeting so many of the students and discovering the many different projects that they have been involved in. Let’s continue to inspire the next generation with fun science, healthy eating and good exercise - go Mission X! ”

Jeremy Curtis from the UK Space Agency commented: “I’ve been amazed by the commitment of teachers and students to the Mission X challenge. The teamwork and enthusiasm for science, fitness and nutrition will be important to the space workforce of the future.”

Dr Jon Scott from QinetiQ, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Mission X to our centrifuge facility in Farnborough and to give children and teachers the chance to really see and experience what astronauts go through in G-exposure and G-acceleration training. We usually use the facility for space and fast-jet training and research but this is the first time we have had teachers experience the centrifuge! We hope that the children have enjoyed the Mission X programme and feel inspired to take up a career in science, engineering or technology in the future.”

Around 7000 children from 110 schools took part in Mission X Train Like An Astronaut 2013. The programme is organised in the UK by the UK Space Agency and is part of an international initiative led by NASA and ESA.

Mission X Train Like An Astronaut will start recruiting for the class of 2014 in the autumn. To register an interest in the class of 2014 visit:

Notes to Editors:

Mission X is an international educational programme designed by NASA and led in the UK by the UK Space Agency. It aims to inspire interest in science, nutrition and fitness in school students aged 8 – 12 years old by using astronauts as role models. It uses astronaut training to teach how good diet and exercise play an important role in human performance in space and on Earth.

For more information on the international Mission X programme, and to download the free resources, visit:

About UK Space Agency
UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space. It is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions. For more information please visit:


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