Students from St Thomas More visit the Russian Space Centre in Moscow
Visit to Moscow: 27th June – 3rd July 2011
On 27th June, six of our pupils, together with Mr Coyle, set off for a week in Moscow, as part of a Peak 11 project that also involved three other schools. A 4.15am departure from school to catch the flight from Heathrow was met with much dismay but all our tiredness was forgotten when we landed at Domodedovo airport at night.
We quickly settled into our hotel and made friends with the people from the other schools then set about the main business of the week: Space Masterclasses! Our host for the week was Professor Alexander Martynov, who works in PR for the Russian Space Federation. We attended talks involving Professor Martynov and Russian cosmonauts about life in space aboard the International Space Station and space station Mir. We also visited the national space museum and got to go inside actual space craft.
Two of the highlights were going to the cosmonauts’ training centre and to Mission Control. We got to see the facilities used by cosmonauts and how the space station is controlled from Earth.
As well as looking at all things space, we did have time to visit Moscow to see the sights. It is a very busy city (15 million people live there) and the traffic was a testament to that! There are many churches, parks and statues and of course we got to walk in Red Square and to go inside the Kremlin. Interestingly, the weather was very hot, about 33 degrees each day – not what you might associate with Russia.
The journey home seemed to take forever but we finally arrived back at school at 4am on the Monday morning, tired but very happy. It was a truly unique experience and one which fired the imaginations of involvement in future space development. A huge thanks to Lawrence Short, Melissa Johnson, Isabel Guthrie, Jordan Bojitchkov (my navigator for the week!), Danny Nowak and Samantha Musgrove for their excellent spirit and behaviour throughout the trip. You are all “stars”!!