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Round Two 2019   4 June - 23 August
Paul Desmond Scully-Power In June 1984 he was chosen by NASA to be a member of the 13th Shuttle mission which would study Earth Sciences. His mission started on 5 October 1984 when space shuttle Challenger lifted off from Cape Kennedy taking the first person born in Australia into Space. North Metro PEAC were generously offered a limited number of seats to a talk by Professor Paul Scully-Power held at Perth Modern School. Below are the reflections made by some of the PEAC students who attended. On the 21st of May, twenty-eight PEAC students were given the opportunity to attend a talk at Perth Modern School and meet Dr Paul Scully Power. He is an astronaut that worked for NASA and flew to space on the space shuttle, Challenger, October 5-13 1984. He was also the first Australian born astronaut. Campbell, Deanmore PS Dr Paul Scully-Power wasn’t always an astronaut of course. He originally studied oceanology and was enlisted in the navy. In space Dr Scully-Power said that the view of the Earth from space was really fantastic but not something you could capture on film. He went into space on a rocket called STS-41G Challenger. When he was getting onto the rocket he had to be careful not to scratch his space gear because it was such a small space. It took only a short time to get into orbit. You started off slow and got faster and faster and faster until all of sudden you were there…… in space. The day before re-entry to Earth there was an enormous sandstorm over the Challenger’s landing zone. Luckily it had cleared by the time Paul wanted to land.  Caroline, North Cottesloe PS Dr Scully-Power talked to us for just over an hour about what it was like to be the first Australian astronaut to orbit the Earth. It took eight and a half days for the journey. During Dr Scully-Power’s zero gravity training he flew in a plane at 38 000 feet and the plane dropped 10 000 feet without the engine running. The astronauts were pinned to the roof of the plane. I asked Dr Scully-Power how he felt when he was leaving Earth’s atmosphere. He answered, “It felt rocky but amazing. The view was amazing.” When I saw his pictures of the Earth I could see why he felt that way. Hannah, Glen Forrest PS It felt like a cool geography lesson, as it was all about space. Dr Paul Scully-Power had managed to take a photo that shows the view of Perth in space, while he was on a mission to launch a satellite into a low Earth orbit. After the introduction, we enthusiastically asked him questions, although most were general, there was plenty of curiosity regarding showers and toilet facilities in a space shuttle! He laughed at those questions and mentioned that they were a crowd favourite! Everyone was fascinated with Dr Scully-Power’s genuine and informative responses. Patrick, Noranda PS Dr Scully Power talked about his travel to space. He had prepared a presentation of photos taken when he was in space, one of which can be selected on Apple Mac as wallpaper. He started with training, and said that they flew an aeroplane up to 30,000 feet, turned off all the engines and went into free-fall to simulate the effects of zero gravity. They turned the engines back on at 20,000 feet. He explained how next to gravity, surface tension is Earth’s strongest force, so if you squirt water out of a water bottle in zero gravity it will form a perfect sphere. He also explained that the toilets on a spacecraft have specially created vacuums to take the place of gravity, that astronauts eat normal microwaveable food and space is so much more than is shown in the movies. Caitlin, Emma, Isabella, Jasmine & Sophia, North Perth PS He shared some exciting stories about his time in space and looking out the window at the weather (because he could tell the weather from where he was in space). Although he didn’t bring any games with him he still had lots of fun just by looking out the window predicting the weather and spotting out the different countries and tourist attractions with his perfect view. He took many pictures up in space of himself and the amazing view of Earth as he went around it.  One of his photos you may recognise on your Apple computer screen saver options.  The picture is of the top of the ship and the Earth as well as the moon and all the stars. He said that the entertainment in space was the view of Earth spinning around in mid-air, also taking photos. Caleb, Subiaco PS The talk by Paul Scully Powers was a blast off into excitement! It inspired me to think of all the amazing things that are happening around us. For example, our planet is just a round sphere that we live on. I still can’t believe that. The pictures from space were amazing – the height they were taken from and how small our country looks from outer space and what the Earth looks like from above  – half the planet Earth is in eternal blackness! Dr Scully Powers was good, funny, interesting, his presentation was long but I didn’t find it boring. Look, I’m just really glad that I got invited and I am very happy that I got a spot because I learnt a thing or two. Harry, Subiaco PS
Sophie with her NASA painting
The Storm From Space By Sophie Slowly approaching landing zone We’re going to land tomorrow. We can’t land or else risk getting blown As we view the storm from space. The swirling wind Is whirling round Where two storms have combined Turning round and round. The storm that’s over our landing pad Is meant to leave tomorrow. We hope it will because it looks bad So we can land, on schedule. And now we sleep, With fingers crossed That we will see the birds peep Over where we land. The storm is clear Away from where we want to go. So we are landing here Safely at our landing zone.