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Space Engineering Technology – Year 9 Science Visit to RAL Space

On Thursday 10th May 2018, thirteen students from Year 9 visited RAL Space to take part in their STEMIT Future Engineers Day. It began with an introduction to ‘Space Engineering Technology’ and talks by a Graduate Engineer and a Precision Engineer, who had been part of the apprentice training scheme. The students and staff took part in activities to build a cradle to protect a precious payload during the launch of a rocket. The precious payload was an egg!

The day included a tour of some of the testing facilities for space vehicles and equipment. We saw clean rooms, the largest thermal vacuum chamber in the UK, and a shaker table that simulates the vibrations of rockets during launch. We learnt the nickname for a comet is a “dirty snowball” and took part in making a model of one. Another activity involved investigating insulation materials to protect the James Webb Telescope, which will be launched in 2020 from the extreme range of heat and cold in space.

The students enjoyed their visit and learned more about the science and engineering involved in sending equipment and satellites into space. Who knows? We may even have some budding engineers among us! Thank you to RAL Space for the welcome and introduction to their exciting space projects!