Tamesin Quinn / Categories: News


Academy students to meet astronaut Mike Foale as he comes back down to earth to make special visit to William Hulme’s Grammar School

United Learning students will be reaching for the stars when world famous astronaut Mike Foale, CBE, makes a special visit to William Hulme's Grammar school.

Set for touchdown on Thursday 11th May, Mike’s visit has been organised in conjunction with the International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET), which works in partnership with some of the worlds leading space organisations to deliver unique learning opportunities for students of all ages.  As part of the United Learning group, Salford City Academy students have been invited to take part.

Mike, who has joint Anglo/American citizenship, was born and educated in the UK, moving to the USA in the early 1980s to pursue his ambitions. He joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1983, being accepted as an astronaut candidate in 1987 and going on to take part in an incredible six space shuttle missions, as well as becoming the first Briton to make a space walk.

An astrophysicist, Mike also spent time on the Russian space station Mir and in 1999 was a member of space shuttle mission STS-103, during which he conducted an eight-hour spacewalk to replace components of the Hubble Space Telescope.

In addition, Mike was commander of the International Space Station Expedition 8 with cosmonaut Aleksandr Kaleri, taking part in a six-month tour of duty, which ended in April 2004 – the same year he was named as a Commander in the Order of the British Empire.

Having left NASA in 2013, Mike is now actively involved with the International Space Schools Education Trust, helping to give unique experiences to students around the world, and will be touching down at William Hulme’s in May to meet with students and recount tales of his amazing experiences.

Commenting on the visit, Peter Mulholland, Principal of William Hulme’s Grammar School, said:

“We are really looking forward to welcoming Mike, in what is a real coup for the school. It’s also a fantastic, once in a lifetime opportunity for our students to meet an astronaut of Mike’s experience and hear of his adventures in space.”

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