Virgin Orbit to launch satellites for junior astronauts
Are your kids aspiring astronauts? They’ll be excited to know that Virgin Orbit has teamed up with Junior Astronaut to launch tiny satellites, known as Nanonauts, into space.
Junior Astronaut is a UK-based company that provides science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education programmes for young space enthusiasts. Its Nanonauts will fly as a rideshare on several of Virgin Orbit’s upcoming missions – including missions from Spaceport Cornwall in Newquay, UK.
Each Nanonaut payload can be tracked and monitored via telemetry from Earth using the Junior Astronaut smartphone app, so your space enthusiast can track where it is and when it passes over friends and family. The app also offers a number of STEM-based activities, such as algebra tutorials and other educational teasers, supporting Junior Astronaut’s broader purpose of inspiring young students to become more engaged and excited about space.
“Knowledge is the most powerful tool for shaping a better future for everyone. The Junior Astronaut programme is designed to inspire young people to push the limits of the unknown, to discover and innovate. The way to do this is education. Space is such an inspirational way to get people interested. We want space to be accessible to everyone, and for the next generation to push boundaries and move all our societies forward. Space is how they will do this,” said Miranda Ashcroft, Junior Astronaut co-founder.
Stephen Eisele, Virgin Orbit’s vice president of business development, added: “With every LauncherOne mission, we want to chip away at the barriers preventing equitable access to space, so this partnership with Junior Astronaut is particularly meaningful to our team. These Nanonauts are all about getting students to recognise that they too can have a role in shaping the future of space, and we’re really excited to help bring them into the fold. These are the kinds of missions that will capture the hearts and minds of tomorrow’s space innovators.”
Virgin Orbit is currently preparing for its Launch Demo 2, which is due to take place on 17 January. Follow all the updates on Twitter (@Virgin_Orbit).
Visit Virgin Orbit to find out more.