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Astronaut, source: p_a_h, Flikr
This event will re-create the astronaut recruitment process

Internal News - 12 November 2008

London Science Museum event asks what it takes to become an astronaut

Have you ever wanted to go into space? Dr Iya Whiteley, a Visiting Research Fellow in the University’s Department of Computer Science, will be on a panel of experts discussing what makes a good astronaut as part of an event run by the Science Museum’s Dana Centre in London this week.

The event, to be held at 7pm on Thursday 13 November, will re-create the recruitment process for astronauts with a panel discussion on long-term living and working in space, and other aspects of space travel.

Whilst on long-term missions to other planets, astronauts may come across situations and challenges that have not been predicted by top engineers or scientists. In these situations the crew must troubleshoot problems using only the available resources within the spacecraft, habitat and the environment.

Dr Whiteley, of SEA Group Ltd in Bristol, is leading a European Space Agency (ESA) funded research project to develop tools for such situations that provide psychological and problem-solving support for astronauts.

She will be joined on the judging panel by veteran ESA astronaut Jean-Francois Clervoy, who has completed three space missions and spent 675 hours in space.

Also on the panel will be an expert on human physiology in space and the curator for space technology at the Science Museum.

The free public debate will invite members of the audience to test their skills to see if they have the qualities essential to become astronauts; the highest scoring person will win a prize.

The Dana Centre, based at the London Science Museum, is a place for adults to take part in exciting, informative and innovative debates about contemporary science, technology and culture.

For more information and to book tickets, please see the related links above.