Alresford girl wins Blue Peter competition to design satellite emblem for Alton company

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IN A HEAVENLY COINCIDENCE, a 12-year-old from Alresford won blue stone Superb Orbit competition to design an emblem that will go on a satellite designed by the company Alton In-Space Missions and launched from British soil this summer.

Bethany Turner appeared live on last Friday’s episode of blue stonejoining the presenters in the studio as her emblem “Earth Sitter” was named the winner.

Bethany wants satellites to help measure melting polar ice caps and monitor deforestation, to find out when trees have been cut down and where new seedlings need to be planted to prevent global warming.

British ESA astronaut Tim Peake launched the competition, supported by the UK Space Agency, in October 2021 to give young people across the UK the chance to design an emblem and come up with ideas on how satellites could be used to help people in the future.

Bethany said: “It was amazing when I found out I had won – I was so shocked I couldn’t believe it.

“For my design, I thought if we could scan the Earth with satellites, it could tell people when there’s illegal deforestation going on and they could go plant trees.

“It could also scan polar ice caps so people can see when they are melting and try to prevent it.

“I’ve been interested in space for quite a long time and I really like it. I get most of my information from books in the library or books I’ve purchased and want to learn more. I would definitely be interested in working in the space sector in the future.

Bethany Turner’s winning design as engraved on the UK’s first satellite launch (British Space Agency ) (British Space Agency)

As part of Bethany’s award, she spent a day with Steve Neaves, creative director of Hampshire-based branding and design studio Crux. Steve and his team had been working on Bethany’s original design to help create the final emblem that will explode into space.

They explained how his design had been redrawn and digitized so that it could be engraved on the plate which will be attached to the satellite.

Ian Annett, Deputy Director General of the UK Space Agency, said: “We all use space every day, whether it’s watching satellite broadcasts, using a mobile phone or finding our way. Data from satellites in space is even being used to monitor the environment and understand climate change and that’s a big part of new technologies like support for driverless cars through better connectivity.

“From missions to Mars to understanding climate change or launching satellites, all of this great work relies on bringing more young people into the space sector in roles such as engineering, law, science and philosophy and the UK Space Agency strives to inspire future generations to consider a career in space. It is fantastic to see so many people taking part in this wonderful competition and our huge congratulations go to Bethany and all the finalists.

ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer congratulated Bethany with a message from the International Space Station, saying: ‘I heard the brilliant news that you won the Blue Peter space competition and thought ‘where could be the best place to congratulate you, but here in space ‘. I’m currently on a mission and brought the Blue Peter badge for the ride!”

Bethany’s emblem will be engraved on a satellite which will be sent into orbit on the first launch from UK soil from Spaceport Cornwall this summer.

As part of her winning experience, Bethany will also win a blue stone contest winners’ orange badge, take control of a Mars Rover at Airbus in Stevenage, experience a journey in a satellite-backed driverless car, and go behind the scenes at the Harwell’s satellite test facilities Space Cluster in Oxfordshire.

The satellite is a collaboration between the UK Defense Science and Technology Laboratory and Airbus Defense and Space, and designed and built by In-Space Missions in Alton.

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