Space is call­ing

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

With the stars firmly in her eyes, a teen science en­thu­si­ast is about to take off on her sec­ond in­ter­na­tional space camp.

Frey­berg High School year 13 pupil Tessa His­cox, 17, is one of two young Ki­wis cho­sen by Royal So­ci­ety Te Aparangi to at­tend the Euro­pean Space Camp at the An­doya Space Cen­tre in re­mote north­ern Nor­way.

She will join Me­gan Poehler from Strat­ford’s St Mary’s Dioce­san School at the seven-day camp in early Au­gust.

The trip will give His­cox a chance to catch up with a Nor­we­gian friend she made while at­tend­ing an Amer­i­can Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, last July.

‘‘That was a week-long camp, plus we spent three days in Hous­toun. It was more like a sum­mer camp, but we got to ex­pe­ri­ence weight­less­ness in a 4G cen­trifuge, and go on some­thing that’s like the giant drop at Dream­world, which was also 4Gs.’’

She got to visit the old Apollo moon mis­sion con­trol cen­tre and met two space shut­tle as­tro­nauts.

‘‘The cool thing was meet­ing all the other peo­ple there from around the world. What I en­joyed most about the camp was see­ing how dif­fer­ent cul­tures came to­gether in the pur­suit of some-

‘‘As­tro­nauts see no bor­ders from space – it's just land’’ Tessa His­cox

thing greater for us all.

‘‘As­tro­nauts see no bor­ders from space – it’s just land.’’

His­cox earned her place on the Nor­way camp as the re­sult of a study she car­ried out on vari­able or cepheid stars.

‘‘Vari­able stars change in shape, size and lu­mi­nos­ity on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. They are used as rulers for mea­sur­ing dis­tances in the uni­verse.’’

She has just submitted an ar­ti­cle about her find­ings to the Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Vari­able Star Ob­servers jour­nal.

Deb­bie Wood­hall from Royal So­ci­ety Te Aparangi said the scope of the project earned His­cox a place on the space camp and her $7000 trip is fully funded.

Wood­hall said the camp would fea­ture top lec­tur­ers on top­ics as di­verse as rocket physics, the work of CERN and the north­ern lights.

The highlight of the week, which in­cluded work­ing on rocket sys­tem de­sign, in­stru­men­ta­tion, pay­load, teleme­try and physics, would be a rocket launch, with the pupils able to an­a­lyse the re­sults of the flight be­fore they leave for their home coun­tries.

PHOTO: DAVID UN­WIN/FAIRFAX NZ

Tessa His­cox, 17, from Frey­berg High School, is off to space camp in Nor­way in Au­gust.

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