MSSI engineer Dr Norah Patten has made it to the second stage of the Lynx Space Academy Competition. Dr Patten who is a post-doctoral researcher in the Irish Centre for Composites Research (IComp)(link is external) which is based in MSSI entered the competition to win a coveted spot on a suborbital flight on board a spaceplane.
The Lynx Space Academy Competition was announced earlier this year by Astronaut Buzz Aldrin and the competition is giving 22 people from around the world the opportunity to fly into space on the XCOR Lynx spaceplane, a flight that takes just 45 minutes from start to finish and reaches an altitude of 103km. The first stage of the competition was down to public votes and this closed at the end of April. There were over 786,000 votes cast in the UK and Ireland, 4,000 of which were for Dr Patten's candidacy. 250 people from the UK and Ireland go through to what is called the National Challenge, and Dr Patten will be one of these. The National Challenge is a day long series of mental and physical ability tests, to be held in Westfield, London, this coming July. From this 250, just four people will be selected to go forth to the 'train like an astronaut' stage, in Florida, at the end of 2013.
Dr Patten would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for her.