Astronaut drops in for an out of this world chat

200416 The former NASA Astronaut Michael Foale being interviewed by media studies students at Elliott Hudson College in Leeds during his visit .(GL1009/75g)
200416 The former NASA Astronaut Michael Foale being interviewed by media studies students at Elliott Hudson College in Leeds during his visit .(GL1009/75g)
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An out of this world visitor has shone a light on space travel by taking up a mission to visit students at a Leeds college.

Around 200 science students, including those from Morley and Bruntcliffe Academy were treated to an intergalactic presentation, Q and A session and a meet-up with retired British-born NASA astronaut Dr Michael Foale at Elliott Hudson College, in Beeston.

The 59-year-old astrophysicist, who was the first Briton to perform a spacewalk, stopped by in a bid to inspire young people.

Sixth form and secondary school students from the college as well as Morley Academy, Farnley Academy, Ruth Gorse Academy and Bruntcliffe Academy joined forces to quiz the Lincolnshire-born pioneer.

Will Carver, director of faculty of science at the college, said: “It was an absolutely amazing experience for our students. What they heard about was Michael’s inspirational journey to become an astronaut.

“He decided when he was very young what he wanted to do as he was fascinated with space and sci-fi, and he kept going despite setbacks – it was an important message for any young person to hear.”

Dr Foale, who moved to America after graduating university to join NASA, spent more than 374 days in space. He retired in 2013.

Elliott Hudson College is run by the Gorse Academies Trust.