Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Old volcanic rock to represent Victoria in space flight

22 October 2013

Old volcanic rock to represent Victoria in space flight


Dr Alexander Gerst in spacewalk training (image courtesy of the European Space Agency)

A small piece of pumice that originated during the Taupō eruption almost 1,800 years ago has been selected by a Victoria University of Wellington professor to go on a European space flight.

The pumice will accompany European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Dr Alexander Gerst on a six-month mission to visit the International Space Station, which is currently orbiting Earth.

Dr Gerst is a former Victoria University student, who studied under geophysics professor Martha Savage at the Institute of Geophysics several years ago.

He will serve as a flight engineer on the mission, which is scheduled to leave Earth at the end of May 2014 and return six months later in mid-November. 

He invited Professor Savage to contribute an item to take on the journey to the International Space Station and she selected a small, rectangular piece of pumice, measuring two and a half centimetres in width and weighing just over 14 grams.

“I chose it because it’s lightweight and small, and beautifully represents the University and the highly regarded earth sciences programme we run here, which Dr Gerst was part of for a time,” says Professor Savage.

She says being able to provide an item for the flight provides an exciting opportunity for Victoria University to be part of Dr Gerst’s first-ever space exploration.

“It’s also a reminder of the kind of things talented students like Dr Gerst go on to achieve with a Victoria University education.”

After completing his Master’s degree at Victoria, Dr Gerst gained a PhD in volcanology from the University of Hamburg in Germany. He then joined the European Space Agency and trained as an astronaut.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Statistics: Net Annual Migration Passes 71,000

A record 71,300 more migrants arrived in New Zealand than left in the January 2017 year, Statistics New Zealand said today. This surpassed the previous annual record set in December 2016. More>>

ALSO:

Fossils: Ancient Penguins Lived Alongside Dinosaurs?

Penguins are much older than previously thought and their evolution probably dates back to the days of the dinosaurs, according to research on the fossilised leg bone and toes of a giant ancient penguin found in rocks near Waipara, North Canterbury. More>>

No Voda/Sky: Commission Declines Clearance For Merger

The Commerce Commission has declined to grant clearance for the proposed merger of Sky Network Television and Vodafone New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Power: IEA Report On New Zealand's Energy System

Outside of its largely low-carbon power sector, managing the economy’s energy intensity and greenhouse gas emissions while still remaining competitive and growing remains a challenge. More>>

ALSO:

NASA: Seven Earth-Size Planets Around A Single Star

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Transport Case: Men Guilty Of Corruption And Bribery Will Spend Time In Jail

Two men who were found guilty of corruption and bribery in a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) trial have been sentenced in the Auckland High Court today... The pair are guilty of corruption and bribery offences relating to more than $1 million of bribes which took place between 2005 and 2013 at Rodney District Council and Auckland Transport. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news