Alex Riley takes two young rookies into the workplace. Honey and Leon get an out-of-this-world experience when they work with space scientists.
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Do you like science and experiments? Do you like flying, floating around?
And are you interested in travel?
Then maybe you should consider a career in space.
This episode is out of this world.
Our two astro-rookies will visit cutting-edge space centres
for an astronomical experience.
But can their minds and bodies take it?
Or will they get lost in space?!
Let's find out as we go All Over The Workplace!
BELLS TOLL SIRENS WAIL
There are millions
and trillions of stars.
Yes, and there are millions and billions and trillions
of jobs in the space industry.
You could be an astrophysicist, a cosmologist, an engineer,
an astronaut. You could even be a rocket scientist.
We're about to meet two rookies who are dead keen to
launch their careers into space.
My name's Honey, I'm 11.
I'm from Glasgow,
and I want to be an astrophysicist.
There's my favourite word,
which is spaghettification.
It's the process of being, like...
..squished and drawn really thin,
and that's what black holes do to you.
If I discovered a planet,
I would probably call it Poppadom...
..cos that's my favourite food.
Hi, I'm Leon, and I want to be an astronaut.
Well, I want to become an astronaut
because I'm passionate about space,
and also because there are dangers in space,
and I like to face a little challenge.
I want to be, like, in no, no gravity.
I want to know how to feel,
just aimlessly floating.
Leon and Honey have both travelled from their own spot on the planet
to team up with Alex in Oxfordshire,
where they will begin their first mission.
So, Leon and Honey, why do you want to work
in the world of space exploration?
Well, I want to be an astronaut because I love a challenge,
and I really like high-adrenaline sports.
OK, well, I think that would be ideal for being an astronaut.
What about you, Honey?
Well, I'd really love to be an astrophysicist
cos space is so mysterious.
And there's so many mysteries to solve.
I really enjoy maths and science,
and I think I'm quite good at problem-solving.
That's very important to have those things.
Well, that's what you have to say,
but here's what your parents think.
She's very independent, very determined.
Honey generally doesn't come and ask for help.
A few disputes with maths,
when Honey thinks she's got it right and...
she thinks you've got it wrong.
Anything to do with space and science, that's his passion, really.
He wants to get where he's going so quickly sometimes,
-without actually focusing on the detail, I think, sometimes.
-So, what do you make of that, then? You are always right...
-And you get completely carried away.
But you've got to stay calm in space,
and astrophysics you need to make sure everything's spot-on
and take criticisms from other people.
No-one's perfect, you know.
Plenty to work on, you two, so come with me!
Our solar system is made up of eight planets that orbit our sun.
Mercury is closest to the sun.
Venus is next, then it's Earth.
Our neighbour is the red planet, Mars.
The next four planets are all made of gas.
You can't land there, as there's nothing to land on.
Here's Saturn, famous for its rings.
Then, there's Uranus.
which takes 165 Earth years to go around the sun.
-So, have you any idea what you're going to be doing?
We're here at STFC RAL Space,
where they make measuring instruments which they send up
into space on satellites,
and here astrophysicists study the information that comes back from
-the satellites to learn the secrets of the planets and the stars.
-Pretty cool, eh? BOTH: Yeah.
So come with me, then.
RAL Space is at the cutting edge of space science.
They work with the European Space Agency and Nasa.
They've made cameras for the International Space Station,
and have also worked on one of the instruments
for a new space telescope
that will be launched in 2018.
Here's our first mentor,
Dr Sarah Beardsley.
She's head of space engineering and technology here,
which means that she oversees a team of electronic engineers,
who make hi-tech gadgets which get sent into space.
Sarah, what are your three top tips for working in the space industry?
First thing to do is to love what you do.
There are lots of different jobs. Make sure you love what you do.
Second is make sure you're very patient,
because the instruments we send into space can take ten years or more
to design and build and test, so have lots of patience.
And finally, have lots of perseverance.
Keep on trying.
No matter what anybody tells you,
make sure you believe that you can do it,
and always follow your dreams.
Sarah's top tips are - love what you do.
Interested workers are happy workers.
Building gadgets that go into space takes time,
so you will need to be in it for the long haul.
It's a tough job, but belief, determination
and hard work can take you a long way.
So, what have you got lined up for us today?
Right, well, we thought you might want to
go into one of our clean rooms and work on some space test equipment.
OK, welcome, guys, to our changing area for our clean rooms.
And this is where we get changed so that we are able to go
into the clean room without damaging any of our equipment.
-You ever been to a swimming pool and used...
You do that and then you put your foot over the bench here.
You put the other one on, and then you come over,
and then you can stand up on the cleaner area.
We have to put a face mask on,
because when we breathe out, we can breathe out lots of particles
-Why do we need to do this?
-Well, that's a good question.
We have to do this because our bodies are really dirty.
Even if you've had a shower just ten minutes before,
your skin starts to flake, and that's quite dirty,
and you don't want all of that kind of particles
going into your very sensitive space instrumentation.
I think we look like space ducks.
-OK, and welcome to our space test chamber.
Wow, this is cool.
This is where we test a lot of our instruments,
and small satellites that go into space.
So, typically, an instrument will go from about -50 degrees centigrade
right up to 50, 60, 70 degrees centigrade hot, as well.
The way we keep the temperature quite controlled
is by using something called multilayer insulation.
You can touch it with your gloved hands.
What does it feel like?
-It feels like tinfoil.
What's inside here are lots of different layers,
and it acts like a blanket.
It's just like when you're in bed,
you cover yourself over with the blanket,
it keeps your temperature constant,
protects you from the heat, and from the cold.
So, now you've got to work out
-what is the best way of putting this multilayer insulation.
Shall we start with Leon's piece, because it's smaller?
And it might be easier to handle.
-So, where do you think that might go best?
Tuck that in behind there.
As a normal astrophysicist,
you wouldn't be in conditions like this most of the time -
you'll be analysing information
and pictures that come down from telescopes and instruments in space.
And so you'd be sat at a computer screen,
working, and working out puzzles and problems.
The people who do this kind of work are some of our skilled technicians,
who may come into business as apprentices or graduate entries,
and become highly skilled in doing this kind of very precise work.
-You don't necessarily need a degree to get in?
A lot of the people who do this kind of work
come through the apprenticeship schemes that we have here,
and it's possible to get space engineering apprenticeships
these days, which is a fantastic opportunity
to get right into the space business, right from day one,
as soon as you leave school.
OK, this is looking pretty good, guys,
I think you've done a good job there. Are you happy with that?
Shall we get out of these clothes, and go back outside?
-Fantastic, let's go.
This is Professor Richard Harrison.
He's the chief scientist at RAL Space,
and he's spent most of his career
studying solar physics.
That's the branch of astrophysics
which specialises in the sun.
He has a wealth of knowledge
to share with our rookies.
What are his top tips?
First thing I'd say is believe.
When I was your age, to say that you wanted to work in space
was something that was very, very unusual.
There are careers there now.
There's a lot more happening, you really can do it.
The second thing I would say is, to be an astrophysicist,
you need to get the qualifications,
you need to go and do your A-levels, do a physics degree,
or something like that.
And the third thing, that I always did,
I always kept an astronomy diary.
So you go out in the back garden
and you see the satellites going over, or a comet,
or a planet or whatever, just keep a little note of all these things,
and it just keeps the interest going,
and you can remember all the wonderful things you've seen.
Richard's top tips are...
Believe you can do it.
There are many more jobs in space science
than there used to be.
Hard work at school,
especially in science subjects.
And keep an astronomy diary.
An interest in the night sky
is a great way to learn about space.
We have some images that we've taken in space, of the sun,
and the way the sun impacts the Earth,
and you two, I hope you'll help me try to find things
in those images.
-What do you think this is?
It's the Earth. So the Earth is what?
-It's a planet.
-It's a planet.
-Now, I think you know what this is. Don't you?
It's the sun. Right.
This is the sun as you would see it with your eyes,
but you should never stare at the sun with your eyes,
because it's so bright you could damage your eyes.
-But what can we see?
-The black spots on the side,
where, like, storms on the sun have been happening.
The sunspots. Yes.
That one is about the size of the Earth.
-If you think how big the Earth is...
-..and how big our country is,
and how tiny you are on there, that is about the size of the Earth.
-The sun is that big.
Now, what we're going to do is look at...
-images from a spacecraft, taken today. Look at that.
Now, what on earth am I looking at here?
-If you look at the Earth, what can you see?
-We could actually see clouds in the Earth's atmosphere.
-You're very near. Yes, it's the sun's atmosphere.
You have to have a special camera that has a kind of a filter
that allows you to look at the light you can't see with your eyes.
So, let's look at a movie of that now.
On here, you can see the sun's atmosphere,
and it looks like a plate of writhing spaghetti, doesn't it?
BOTH: Yeah. What do you think it's made of?
In fact, the sun isn't solid at all.
That's weird, isn't it? BOTH: Yeah.
Isn't that strange! Here's something really dramatic.
From one of our instruments in space...
-Look at that!
-Whoa, that's cool.
Is that a solar flare?
There is a solar flare in there.
It looks like a volcano.
And it does look like a volcano.
-So does any of that hit the Earth?
-Yes, it does. It can, certainly.
And it causes lots of effects on the Earth.
That's what causes the aurora to light up, these lights in the sky.
But they can also cause problems
for people who are on satellites,
or you can have power blackouts.
It's not something to worry about, we just need to understand it,
so with a lot of our spacecraft we're trying to understand
what's happening in the sun's atmosphere,
and how these things come out towards us.
In these images, the sun is off the right-hand side of the image.
The Earth is a long way over there,
and you can see how much the sun is just throwing into space,
all the gas that it's throwing out.
It's really quite violent down there.
Can you imagine coming in in the morning, you sit at your desk,
you put images on the screen -
nobody's ever seen that before.
You're the first person to see something.
And you don't know what's going to be in that particular set of images.
It could be something that... A new discovery or something like that.
That's quite exciting.
Going into the clean room was really good,
because of all the kit we had to put on,
and we felt like professionals.
It made me feel even more excited
when we watched the sun videos
because I found out lots more facts
about how the sun affects the Earth.
Trying some astrophysics
was really inspirational
because it wasn't quite like I thought.
But it was still really amazing.
I liked going in the clean room,
even though I said I never want to go
in one of those suits again.
I had issues with the sticky tape.
When I was watching the sun videos,
looking at it from, like, in space
was really exciting.
Astrophysics was quite fun.
It's just a range of different things
and you never know what's coming up next.
It's a bit like your dreams.
But I would still prefer
to be an astronaut!
Well, Honey, I thought you did really well.
I loved the way that you
approached all the problems
in a calm and methodical way.
Sometimes I thought that you were
a little bit quiet.
I know you've got lots of questions inside you -
sometimes you just need to go out there and ask more questions.
Honey, you did really, really well.
I was very impressed by your questions.
They were brilliant, and you showed
that you knew some of the answers already
when I asked things, for example,
and that was excellent.
You've a good knowledge base there.
Hi, Leon. You were brilliant.
One thing I loved about you is
you were never afraid to ask questions.
Sometimes you needed a little bit more patience.
You would jump in too far sometimes.
Sometimes, just think about what you're doing
a little bit more.
Leon, you did brilliantly.
And I was particularly impressed
by your attention to detail.
You could look into the images
and find things,
and that's the sort of thing
you really need as an astrophysicist,
to go in there and find the little objects,
the new discovery or whatever,
so that was brilliant.
These are my three top tips to becoming a physicist.
First of all, you should be inquisitive.
You should ask questions all the time.
As a physicist, one of the things I mainly do is
try and discover things and understand things,
and try and solve problems sometimes,
so asking questions is really key.
Tip number two.
I think, find something that you really like.
One of the great things about studying physics is
you are literally studying everything in the universe,
and that's from the outer reaches of the galaxy, the universe,
to the tiniest particles we've found,
and everything else in between.
And then, finally, I think it's be persistent and be an opportunist.
I have found that, throughout my career, there's some times
when things just go horribly wrong and you want to give up,
but then I think it's really handy to have a crazy dream.
Mine is that I actually want to travel into space one day.
It's slightly odd, and slightly crazy,
but that dream has kept me going,
and it's enabled to me to get a degree, get a PhD,
become DOCTOR Maggie,
and I think without a crazy dream I wouldn't have been able to do that.
The rookies have travelled to St Pancras station in London,
where Alex is about to reveal a stellar surprise.
So, have you got any idea what we're going to be doing next? BOTH: No.
OK. I'll tell you the secret.
We're going to go to the Euro Space Center in Belgium...
BOTH GASP ..and do some astronaut training.
-That's so cool!
-Yeah! And not only that,
we're going to be meeting a genuine real-life actual astronaut.
-Oh, that's amazing!
-That's so cool!
Come on, then, let's get on the train!
Alex and the rookies have travelled
via the Channel Tunnel
to the Euro Space Center in Belgium.
The centre hosts loads of hi-tech kit
to simulate various aspects of space travel,
and astronaut training.
If you're going to do some space training,
you need the right clothing.
So we've surprised Holly and Leon
with their very own space flight suits.
Astronauts wear overalls like these
when they're working on the International Space Station.
Pedro Duque was the first Spanish astronaut
to blast into space.
He's been to space twice.
Once in a US shuttle,
and once in a Russian Soyuz rocket.
An earlier version of the rocket
that took British astronaut
Tim Peake into space.
So, Pedro, can you tell us your three top tips
for being a good astronaut?
The first tip would be trust your team.
So you're going to fly in space not because of what you do,
but because of what thousands of people have prepared for you,
and you have to trust your team.
Try to be very accurate.
If you press buttons in any order in a music player or something,
it doesn't matter. But in a rocket, it does matter.
Then the third one is going to be keep always high spirits.
Things will happen, but if you keep high spirits all the time,
then the team will be in the mood to solve it.
Pedro's top tips are...
Trust your team.
Astronauts must have confidence in
their highly-skilled support team.
Precision is crucial inside a rocket.
Mistakes must be avoided!
And... Positive outlook.
Challenges always arise in space.
Staying positive helps when solving problems.
How did you apply to be an astronaut?
-I had already studied to be an engineer,
I had worked a little bit,
I was doing diving and everything,
so I applied to the European Space Agency.
-In fact, it did appear in the newspaper as a job offer.
Pedro, what have you got lined up for Honey and Leon?
We're going to try out simulators
that are similar to what we use to train astronauts for space.
Marco is an instructor, and he's going to help us.
So we'll see if you are able to trace this dotted line
-on this piece of paper with a wax crayon.
-Sounds simple. Really easy.
-It does, doesn't it? Yeah.
Not so easy when strapped into a multiaxis chair.
Astronauts use kit like this during training
to get their body accustomed to what might happen on space flights.
It's a test of coordination, and whether you're calm under pressure.
First up for this disorientating challenge is Honey.
Oh, no, this is going to be fun.
I don't think I'm going to be very good at this drawing.
OK, you can start now.
-It's not that bad, is it?
-So, what was this machine used for?
It's used to see if astronauts are capable of coping
with the disorientating effects of spinning around a multiple axis.
She's spinning on the three axes,
so any direction you can think of, she will be spinning in.
In physics, a system like this is referred to as a chaos pendulum.
Honey has been pretty accurate.
Let's see how Leon gets on.
-This is hard!
It actually helps, focusing on a specific task.
The spinning is worse if you're just
-concentrating on the spinning.
-So you've got a little task...
-..that you can focus on.
-Like trying to regain control of the spacecraft.
Judging by his attempt,
Leon looks like he could do with a bit more practice.
My top tips for being an astronaut.
First of all, do science or engineering. Something technical.
Enjoy all sorts of things in life,
because nobody wants to be with a boring astronaut in space.
You need to be a good communicator - not just to the public,
but actually also to your crew and all of the teams around you,
and importantly, then, be a team worker.
So, somebody who likes to work in groups with other people.
We have here the simulator of the space shuttle,
-the size of the space shuttle.
-Whoa, that looks cool.
We are going to simulate the launch.
Leon, you will be the pilot,
Honey will be the commander,
Alex and I, we will be in mission control,
and we will be giving you some instructions, and being your team.
-Whoa, that's cool.
-Off you go, then.
Have a safe journey. And, you know, send me a postcard.
-Yes, we will.
The rookies won't actually be going into space...today.
But real astronauts do train for space flights
using simulators like this one.
-Please proceed with your first checklist,
and report results.
-Instrument power on.
-Roger, instrument power on.
Checklist number three on.
UFTs are on.
Instrument power on.
-Instrument power on. You see the other side?
-Flight control power on.
Flight control power on.
General-purpose computer, one to five, on.
Emergency lighting off.
Emergency lighting is off.
-Timer to reset on.
-Timer to reset.
OMS ENG are in off position.
Orbital manoeuvring system engines are in off position.
We see you are complete with your checklist. Please proceed.
13, 12, 11,
ten, nine, eight, seven...
-Main engines start.
three, two, one...
Honey and Leon are experiencing what it's like to blast off into space!
Liftoff, we have a liftoff!
Hi there, you two. Wow.
That was exciting. How was it?
-Fun, really fun.
-Really exciting! And realistic.
So, one thing you had to do is to always know exactly
which button are you touching.
So you first look at the button,
you first look at the button again,
and then you touch the button.
-That's very important.
You don't want to be pressing the wrong button, I suppose.
Probably not, no. And then, when you report what you did...
It's good that the ground, the people on the ground, know that
you are actually thinking about it, so you have to say what you did.
So, "I turned on the flight number two."
Instead of just reading, because then they know you have read
-and you KNOW what you're doing.
I was a bit nervous before I went on
the multi-axis chair,
but when I got on it
I really wanted to stay on it for longer.
The shuttle simulation was amazing
because it was like you were in a real shuttle.
Quite a lot of astronauts
are astrophysicists, too,
because they have to do experiments in space,
and I think that could be me in the future.
The multi-axis chair was actually quite fun,
cos you were spinning around,
but the task wasn't that easy,
because your brain's trying to concentrate
on the paper, and your brain's
shaking around in your head,
so it's a bit like doing your homework
when someone interrupts.
Doing the shuttle mission was hard
because you had to think about
the switches you flick,
and I like to rush into stuff.
So, Leon, you did great on the multi-axis chair.
Your body could take the movement
without any problems.
Slight lack of coordination
on the drawing,
but I'm sure that if you keep it up you will be fine.
And Honey, you were amazing.
I mean, your drawing was almost flawless.
Keep up the good work, and you'll be fine.
Leon, in the shuttle simulator,
I have to say you were speaking very clear on the radio,
you were quick
on finding which buttons you had to flip
in order to follow your procedure.
Maybe if I can give you an advice,
you should refrain from
touching all the other buttons randomly.
Honey, in the task that you had in the shuttle simulator,
I noticed that you tried to be perfect
all the time,
and always press the right buttons.
This is something that we appreciate
very, very much.
Being an astronaut may be out of this world,
but that doesn't mean you can escape everyday chores like vacuuming.
The UK's own Tim Peake demonstrating his housekeeping skills.
Bet Mum's very proud.
Even simple things like washing your hair can become a tricky affair.
Here, we see US astronaut Karen Nyberg showing us
the latest in alien hairstyles.
Of course, the simplest option is to have no hair.
Here's Chris Cassidy using special suction clippers to keep trim.
Like vacuuming your head.
Speaking of trim, what about exercise?
Astronauts need to keep in shape on board, but the microgravity -
that's weightlessness, to you and me -
means you have to strap in for a run.
She's going nowhere fast.
I think my ultimate career highlight
was doing a space walk.
Where you put on a huge, protective set of clothing
that's really more like building a little one-person spaceship
around your body,
and then de-pressurising,
letting all the air out of one part of your spaceship,
and then pulling yourself out into the universe.
And being alone out in the universe
as an astronaut.
was the coolest thing that ever happened to me.
The rookies have had an experience of universal proportions.
Their minds and bodies have been tested to extremes,
and they've even blasted off into space!
But have they got what it takes to do it for real?
Honey and Leon, I think you've got what it takes to make
your way in the space-exploration business.
You've both got passion and enthusiasm,
and I know you'll do well.
Honey, Leon, given the enthusiasm you've shown,
the questions that you've asked, the interest you've shown,
I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that you could both
have wonderful careers in space science in the future.
Honey and Leon, I saw that you trusted your team,
I saw that you wanted to be accurate all the time,
and I saw that you kept high spirits
and high enthusiasm in everything you did,
so I think you've got all that it takes to be an astronaut.
You've been through the whole thing now.
You've met an astrophysicist, you've studied the sun,
you've done astronaut training,
you've met a real-life astronaut!
So, after all that...
Leon, do you still want to be an astronaut?
-Yes, I do!
-Yeah, you sure?
Yeah, because all the assignments I've done,
I found them really exciting. It makes me want to do it more.
OK. What about you, Honey? You wanted to be an astrophysicist.
Do you still want to be one of those?
I do still want to be an astrophysicist,
but also do a bit of astronaut work.
Well, you can do that, can't you?
You can do that. You can start as an astrophysicist
-and then go up into space.
-So, it's open to you, isn't it?
Well, follow your dream.
Shoot for the moon. And if you don't make it,
at least you'll reach the stars.
-Actually, Alex, I think that is impossible.
I've learned nothing on the show, have I?
Well, I think Leon and Honey have had a blast.
They found out that astrophysics isn't all rocket science,
and they've had an astronomically good time doing astronaut training.
You know, I reckon they've both got stellar careers ahead of them.
ROCKETS BOOM Don't go!
Wait for me!
Ironically, they probably didn't have enough space. Hah.
Anyway, I'd better go. Don't want to miss me bus.
Ever fancied going into space? Well come join Alex Riley and rookies Honey and Leon as they get an out-of-this-world experience! They work with space scientists who make and test equipment that actually gets sent out into the universe. They examine never-before-seen images of the sun and then head to Belgium to visit the Euro Space Centre. They are put through their paces by astronaut Pedro Duque, and even simulate a shuttle launch as part of their astronaut training. But the big question is, will Honey and Leon still want to work in space after they've been all over the workplace?