Calls our girls to join space race
ADELAIDE teens Bianca Vidal and Jazmin Spencer are among a record group of South Australian schoolgirls taking part in a NASA program hoping to rocket more women into a growing global space industry on the frontier of taking off in SA next year.
“I hope women can be participating across all sectors of the space industry in the future. I hope we can be up there,” says 15-year-old Jazmin – pointing to the moon.
Jazmin and five other students from St Aloysius College, in the city, will jet off from Adelaide this morning to Houston for the exclusive two-week NASA space school experience.
There are 53 female students from six Adelaide girls’ schools participating. They will repair a space station and land a rover on Mars in simulated missions, construct and launch a rocket, and possibly meet SA astronaut Andy Thomas and female space superstar Nicole Stott.
Stott, a retired NASA engineer and spacewalking astronaut, is one of 59 women who have flown in space compared with more than 470 men since 1961.
“These types of programs are really important to show that women can be part of the space industry,” 17-yearold St Aloysius student Bianca says.
Peggy Whitson was the first woman to command a space station in April 2008
HOUSTON-BOUND: St Aloysius College students Bianca Vidal and Jazmin Spencer at the Adelaide Planetarium.