| September 25, 2009 | 1 Comment
Excalibur Almaz Space Capsule

Excalibur Almaz Space CapsuleIsle News, 25 September 2009 – King William’s College pupils have had a once in a lifetime experience this week, swapping their classrooms for lessons inside a space capsule!

Isle of Man-based company, Excalibur Almaz, has brought the spacecraft over from the recent Moscow Air Show and put it on display at the Castletown school. It has just purchased three former Russian space capsules and two space stations, and launched plans to offer orbital trips into space by 2013.

College pupils, as well as their junior counterparts from the Buchan School, have received a lesson in space commerce given by cosmonauts from Excalibur Almaz. As well as learning about the role of astronauts and cosmonauts, pupils have had the chance to have a look at how the interior of the space capsule will eventually be adapted to be able to transport passengers into space.

More than 1,500 pupils aged between five and 18 from some of the Island’s infant, primary and secondary schools are also being given the chance to look round the space capsule this week.

Dr Sarah Welch, Principal of King William’s College, commented: “It is fantastic to see the excitement and enjoyment that the Excalibur Almaz spacecraft has brought to pupils here. Being able to have a look around a real-life space vehicle really is a once in a lifetime opportunity for them and they have been asking the crew a lot of questions about it!

“The education benefit that comes with being able physically to see or touch something that they are learning about in the classroom is huge, and I am extremely grateful to Excalibur Almaz for giving our pupils this opportunity.”

Education Minister, Anne Craine MHK, commented: “It is exciting to have the space capsule here to let people in our school community see how closely the Isle of Man is linked with the space industry. I very much welcome the initiative that has enabled so many of our schoolchildren to see and to touch the space capsule, feel the space suits and talk to the cosmonauts themselves.

“The Isle of Man, through its developments in this area, is proud to be able to provide our students with experiences and opportunities that are not available elsewhere. I hope this experience will give our young people the aspiration to follow the advice of Helen Sharman, the first British astronaut, issued when she visited the Isle of Man, and ‘aim high’.”

The exhibit is open to the general public from 11am-4pm on both Saturday 26th September and Sunday 27th September 2009.

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Category: Education, Isle of Man

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  1. masonstorm says:

    I think this is one of the few times imo when privatization is a really good idea. Whether we think it’s necessary or not, we need to continue to develop new forms of space travel and technology to facilitate it. What the ppl whose only argument is “we have too many problems down here to be worrying about this,” they fail to understand the two most important implications of aeronautical research. The first is for national defense… it’s bad enough that nasa has to rely on Russia to ferry them to the ISS. If we keep going at this rate, our disadvantage will only grow as they continue to develop new technologies in their space program while we pump the brakes on ours. Is air and space superiority something you really want the Russians to have? It doesn’t seem like a good idea for any one country to have, let alone one whom we have a sketchy history with. The second is that with aeronautical research comes a flood of new technologies, most of which are very applicable to us down on earth. For example, if it wasn’t for nasa, we wouldn’t have the chips that we use for non-invasive biopsies, solar energy, and a whole litany of other things (http://www.thespaceplace.com/nasa/spinoffs.html#Top has a good number of inventions that most of us don’t know came from our space program). And if you’re one of those ppl that are so skeptical (or cynical imo) that you still don’t think that any of the things on this list warrant a larger investment in a privatized space industry, just remember that while you sleep at night, you most likely have nasa to thank for that, too. If you use any type of home security system, chances are they use infrared and laser technology that came out of nasa’s research (just look at the adt home security infrared camera page. They even admit that the technology came from nasa!)

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