Author: InnovaSpace Team
Working towards a globally inclusive and diverse network of space professionals, researchers, entrepreneurs, students & enthusiasts - Space Without Borders
Time to catch-up with our colleague from the east, Chris Yuan, who very enthusiastically and capably established the Ursa Minor project in China, under the umbrella of the Planetary Expedition Commander Academy (PECA). It involves the development of new technologies and innovative training courses to encourage and inspire a future generation of space science researchers and astronauts.
As previously reported in 2022, Chris and his students learned how to perform the Evetts-Russomano CPR technique underwater on a manikin while diving, as the water simulates the weightlessness that is present in microgravity. This practice now forms part of a larger course, the Ursa Minor Interstellar Expedition Program, giving the opportunity for 12- to 18-year-olds to participate in an underwater space science training camp.
Eight teenagers took part in such a course between July and August of this year (2023), five from China and three Tibetans. Safety is always a prime concern, so all students have passed strict PADI scuba diving certification, before joining in with the first responder/space CPR simulations and other underwater activities, such as the design and development of small submersibles. Some participants also had previous experience with the challenging activity of cave diving in southwest China. Learning was stimulated through the combination of on-land theory practice, with Q&A sessions, the writing of science blogs, and brainstorming design ideas for space living, such as space gardens (see video below). It was further complemented by plenty of time spent underwater, putting what they had learned into practice.
PECA, as an organisation, attaches a great deal of importance to ensuring that young women are encouraged to take a leading role in future space activities and exploration. Thus, Chris was very happy to report the presence of three girls in the training camp: 14-year-old Ivy, 14-year-old Jasmine, and 12-year-old Joy. All of these young women have undertaken PADI courses and spent time diving in underwater caves, in addition to participating in the Ursa Minor Interstellar development course. Indeed, all of the participants in this unique experience should be rightly proud of themselves and what they have achieved, which has demonstrated determination, courage, hard work and a sense of adventure.
InnovaSpace is proud to be a collaborative partner of Chris Yuan and the team at PECA. Congratulations to all for organising such interactive, stimulating and exciting courses, and to all the participants, who have the potential to play a big role in the future of space exploration – Ad Astra!
© All images courtesy of Chris Yuan
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