Budding astronauts and space engineers are set to be wowed and inspired on Saturday 7 October, when space researchers at the University of Surrey take over Guildford town centre.
The University and its event partners, the Institute of Physics, will offer activities for children and adults to try in the Tunsgate Centre and on the High Street.
Thanks to the UK Space Agency, there will be space suits to try on, Winchester Science Centre will host a pop-up planetarium, and there’ll be a working model of a mini Mars rover.
Experts from Surrey Space Centre will be in the Tunsgate Centre.
Laura Cox from the University of Surrey’s Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences explained what people can see. She said:
“Come along to see inside a small satellite and have a go at steering it. You can also help spot illegal fishing boats on satellite images, a crime which costs over $15bn annually.
“At the mobile ground station, visitors can see signals from satellites in real-time and the decoded data they are sending from space. And you can learn about different types of space rocks and handle 3D-printed models of real asteroids, comets, and planetary moons.”
Astrophysicists from the School of Mathematics and Physics will be answering astronomy questions, running a constellation activity, offering an escape room-style activity and more.
Local employers in the space sector will also participate, including Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), who will show off models of spacecraft and components of the satellites they make, including a propulsion tank, circuit boards and samples of the exterior panels we see in photos.
Dr Nicola Baresi, an astrodynamicist who plans efficient routes for spacecraft to travel in space, including to the Moon and to other planets in our solar system, says:
“It’s going to be a fun day for people of all ages with lots of space-related activities and experiments to try. Space is a hugely exciting sector and is a thriving industry across Surrey and Hampshire. There are plenty of opportunities for rewarding careers in this area, yet significant skills shortages, something we help tackle at the University of Surrey with our research activities and educational programmes. We’re keen to inspire people and help them realise that they could get a job in the space industry.”