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