Students send 'Message to Earth' into space via ESA's ATV and back home via the US Dragon capsule - scroll down for link to complete DVD in YT
We have a great little story to share with you today on the completion of an imaginative journey taken by a group of young people from the local community youth group (MJC) in Elbeuf, France, 120km north-west of Paris.
The nine students, aged 9-16, sent a DVD to the ISS on board ATV Eduardo Amaldi, which launched from Kourou, French Guiana, on board Ariane flight VA205 on 23 March 2012. The disc was stored, of course, on board Europe's Columbus science module.
The DVD contained a video, "L'Apprenti sage," produced by the students that spotlighted their vision of our future, how society should develop and their hopes and dreams; environmental issues and the future of our planet were main themes.
The group was also invited by ESA and CNES, the French space agency, to visit Europe's Spaceport at Kourou to watch the ATV-3 launch in person during 9-13 March last year.
The launch was, unfortunately, delayed, but the students had an excellent tour of the Arianespace launch facilities as well as the surrounding tropical ecosystem in French Guiana.
The closing link in this tremendous space voyage was provided by SpaceX, when the well-travelled DVD was returned to Earth via the Dragon capsule's CRS-1 mission, 8-28 October 2012. The DVD was then shipped back to Europe via Bremen and returned to the young producers in Elbeuf.
"It's important for all of us who work in space to ensure that young people are given opportunities to develop their interest and passion toward careers in science, technology, engineering and math," says Jean-Michel Bois, Head of the ATV Operations Division at the ATV Control Centre in Toulouse.
"This is especially crucial with young people who may not otherwise be exposed to role models or experience inspirational events related to STEM. For youth, participating in a real space adventure can change lives."
The youth were presented with certificates to mark the tremendous voyage taken by their video DVD and to offer congratulations from the managers at ATV-CC and Col-CC.
Best wishes to everyone at MJC Elbeuf!