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Alumni

Winning space competition entries for 'An evening with astronaut Michael Foale'

On Wednesday the 6th of November, as part of Queen Mary’s new Public Lecture series, former NASA astronaut Michael Foale, veteran of six space missions and survivor of the worst crash in spaceflight history, was invited to share his stories at the Perrin Lecture Theatre, Blizard Institute. The Alumni Engagement Team ran a competition to offer complimentary tickets to our alumni.

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On Wednesday the 6th of November, as part of Queen Mary’s new Public Lecture series, former NASA astronaut Michael Foale, veteran of six space missions and survivor of the worst crash in spaceflight history, was invited to share his stories at the Perrin Lecture Theatre, Blizard Institute. The Alumni Engagement Team ran a competition to offer complimentary tickets to our alumni.

We invited New Scientist’s cosmology consultant and Queen Mary alumnus Marcus Chown (Physics BSc, 1980; Astrophysics MSc, 1982) to be our competition master given his experience as a science writer, journalist, broadcaster and former radio astronomer. Marcus kick-started our competition by asking our alumni: ‘what place in the Solar System would you most like to visit and why?’

As part of the winning package, courtesy of Professor Richard Nelson, our alumni were given an exclusive tour of the School of Physics and Astronomy’s observatory. Alumni and several members of our team were blown away by images captured from the observatory and the impressive range of equipment that the dome shaped observatory is home to, including three telescopes which sit on a mount and which provide direct access to the sky.


The winning competition entries are as follows:

Peter Stewart: If I were to visit anywhere in the Solar System, I would choose to visit Jupiter. Provided technology allowed me to do so safely with some sort of indestructible pod, I would love to see The Great Red Spot storm. Visiting Florida as a child I was always enthralled by the storms and heavy rain - and have been subject to emergency evacuation twice - I think this would take it to a new level. French, 2011

Najib Noor: I would choose to visit Olympus Mons, Mars. It's said to be the largest volcano in our solar system. I recently came back from a trip in Central/South America and visited the magnificent volcanoes there. I would very much like to compare Mars’ volcanoes to Earth's. Mechanical Engineering, 2014

Isil Etes: I studied politics and law. Travelling to space can only be a dream for people like me unless we go back to studying and become an astronaut. I would love to go to Jupiter's moon Europa as it is believed to be one of the most habitable worlds in the solar system. Hearing any news about it excites me a lot. Wouldn't it be nice to be in the team that discovers there is life there? LLM, 2011

Mohnish Nareshkumar Mulgi: I am currently studying Mechanical Engineering and graduating in 2020. To answer the question: I would most like to visit Mars as that’s probably the next planet humans will colonise. I am also a big supporter for Mars missions, for my third year project I am designing a storage system for bringing samples back to Earth.


We really enjoyed running this competition with our alumni and we hope to run more in the future – watch this space (pun intended)…