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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: 2 November 2006 00:23:22 GMT
Subject: NISO, Faulkes Tel, EAAS talk, HST.

Hi all,

1. Armagh Planetarium launches Northern Ireland Space Office. As part of
World Space Week 2006, Armagh Planetarium launched its latest
initiative, the Northern Ireland Space Office (NISO).    Led by Robert
Hill from the Planetarium, the Space Office is being jointly funded by
Space Connections (a member of the Yorkshire Forward Regional
Development Agency) and the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and
Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland.    NISO aims to build on the
interest and enthusiasm of teachers already involved in space science
projects by developing resources to support all teachers in aligning the
potential offered by developing technologies to the requirements of the
revised Northern Ireland Curriculum. The resulting resources and support
materials will use the context of space to relate science, technology
and mathematics to real life.     The Space Office mission is to create
a learning environment that encourages school children to recognise the
importance of Science, Engineering and Technology in modern industry and
society. There are already many Astronomy and space-related resources
available to teachers and pupils throughout Europe and the Space Office
will align these resources and learning journeys to the new Northern
Ireland curriculum. The Planetarium has had tremendous success with
schools using the Faulkes Robotic Telescopes, with Northern Ireland
pupils continuously amongst the highest percentage of Faulkes users in
the UK.    There is a real problem facing Europe with not enough
students tackling the disciplines in school that they perceive as
difficult and this new initiative will hopefully inspire a new
generation of scientists and engineers. Northern Ireland has a fabulous
educational reputation and it is important that our next generation gain
the necessary knowledge to compete in a European knowledge-based
society.    NISO will also engage with ESA and its partners to realise
an educational resource centre, based at the Planetarium, dedicated to
European Space educational resources for local teachers, pupils and
parents.

2. Faulkes Telescope. Robert will still be the Faulkes schools
co-ordinator in Ireland and will probably be even more involved as FT is
really taking off in ROI and internationally due to his work with the
British Council in Russia and Portugal.    It is really important that
FT becomes integral to the new KS3 N Ireland curriculum and this is one
of the things that he is pushing forward, making Northern Ireland the
first place in the world where astronomy robotic telescopes actually
become part of the accredited learning process for school pupils.

For further information on the Northern Ireland Space Office or the
Faulkes Telescope  contact: Robert Hill, Northern Ireland Space Office,
Armagh Planetarium, College Hill, Armagh, BT61
9DB.  robarmaghplanet.com or phone: +44 (0)7929278501. Tel:
+44(0)2837524725. Fax: +44(0)2837526187.  www.armaghplanet.com

3. EAAS Meeting.  The next meeting will be on Monday 6th November at 8pm
in the Thompson Primary School, Ballyrobert. The main speaker will be
Dr. David Asher from the Armagh Observatory who will speak on "Dirty
snowballs, sudden meteor outbursts and asteroid flybys".

4. Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission approved. NASA Administrator
Michael Griffin has approved a fifth and final shuttle mission to
service the Hubble Space Telescope. The flight will extend the
observatory's life by replacing aging parts and increase its scientific
reach by installing two new instruments, allowing HST to see further
back in time than ever before.    This will fill the gap which would
otherwise have existed should the HST have failed within the next few
years, as seemed likely, and the launch of its successor, the James Webb
Space Telescope, in about 8 years.   The crew will be led by Scott
Altman, with pilot Greg C. Johnson, robot arm operator Megan McArthur
and spacewalkers Andrew Feustel, Mike Good, John Grunsfeld and Mike
Massimino. Launch is tentatively planned for May 2008 using shuttle
Discovery.  See:  
spaceflightnow.com

Clear Skies,

Terry Moseley

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