A contest run by British National Space Centre and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. to see what team of 14 - 19 year-old students could design the best 1kg science package for a satellite has produced six finalists. According to SSTL’s Dr. Stuart Eves, "The competition entries we have had so far are hugely encouraging. Any of the six finalists could make their idea literally 'out of this world' by winning the prize of flying their experiment on one of SSTL's satellites in 2010." The finalists have presented their ideas to the UK’s Minister for Science and Innovation, Ian Pearson.
COMMENT: The involvement of a Cabinet-level official shows how seriously this initiative is being taken. Would that NASA could attract that kind of attention in inspiring the next generation of space engineers! Maybe the teams working on NASA’s new ASMO challenge (see below) will get to present their results to the NASA Administrator, which would certainly be encouraging in its own right as well as garnering more press attention.