ISA School Project: What the future of space looks like according to budding astronauts

Perth Students Pitch Future of Space to Astronaut

Rarely do kids get naturally interested and excited over something as they do over space. They simply love the wonder and mystery of the universe, which can easily be translated into a love for learning about science, technology, engineering, and much more.

The children of today are one day going to be the next generation responsible for future efforts in space exploration.

In that spirit, the International Space Association (ISA) was proud to organize the first-ever ‘Future Of Space’ project with a primary school in Western Australia. In what we hope will become an annual event, the year 5 students from Hammond Park Catholic Primary School was invited to submit its vision of the future of space in the form of a poster.

The children were divided into groups and asked to come up with a poster themed around what the future of space might look like, expressing their ideas and creativity in the process. The top submissions were first evaluated by the ISA and then submitted to former NASA astronaut Dr. Donald Alan Thomas to judge the top three.

As you can imagine, the year 5 students provided a wide array of interesting and inspiring ideas.

Some of the more creative ones included:

• The settlement of Earth-like planets such as Kepler-62f, Kepler-186f, and Kepler-442b if Earth ever gets overcrowded;
• Making rockets faster, safer, and bigger;
• Mining resources on other planets;
• Living in space in just a few years;
• Transporting oxygen from Earth to a new planet to live on;
• Sending builders into space to build homes, shops, and schools to live on the Moon or other planets;
• Not having to wear spacesuits in the future of space travel.

Dr. Thomas then provided a video message to the class. As a space veteran who flew on four space shuttle missions and spent a total of 44 days in space, he complimented the class on all their ideas and offered some truly inspiring words.

"I want to send out a special greeting to all the students in Western Australia," he said. “You came up with some really amazing ideas, and I greatly enjoyed looking at those and judging those in the competition.”

He then went on to share how he sees the future of space:

“You’re going to see a lot of amazing things in your lifetime in space, from setting up bases on the Moon in the not too distant future to maybe, 20 years from now, landing astronauts on the planet Mars, and beyond that - who knows where else we’re going to go?”

Finally, Dr. Thomas concluded his message with these powerful words:

“Work hard in school every single day. Always do your best and remember - keep your eyes on the stars!”

So, our first project was a huge success. In the years and decades to come, we might very well witness Moon bases and the colonization of Mars.

As humans, we have always looked to the stars and wondered what our solar system and the rest of the universe are like. With each new day, we move the boundaries of space exploration and get closer to better understanding the many objects and phenomena that occur within the vastness of space.

Projects like ISA’s ‘Future Of Space’ serve as a way to capture children’s imagination and teach them about the importance of looking after our own planet. By sparking their creative minds, we hope to increase knowledge about Earth and space, and help form individuals who will, one day, contribute to the betterment of all mankind.

From Hammond Park Catholic Primary School, year 5 science teacher Danielle Roberts spoke about the project saying “It was such an amazing opportunity for our students. It was lovely as a teacher to witness their enthusiasm and engagement with the activity. Their responses were very creative and who knows it may inspire one of our students to become an astronaut like Dr Don or undertake a career in the space industry.”

From the ISA, board members Dr Jeremy Nunn and Mr Chris Beach were very excited to see the results, excitement and enthusiasm from the students. “We hope to see more Australian schools connect with astronauts this way” said Mr Beach. “With many astronauts based over seas, and especially with International travel restrictions, this has been a great new way to connect Australian students with the space industry and inspire the next generation.” Dr Nunn commented.


Dr Jeremy Nunn

Mr Christopher Beach

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