To start World Space Week, The Leigh UTC had a visit from STEM ambassador, Marino Saksida. Marino is the Chairman of the Association of Retired ESA Staff, UK branch, ARES UK.

During three presentations to initially years 10 and 11, then years 7 and 8 from The Inspiration Academy and then post 16 students, Marino talked briefly about his career with the European Space Agency and its history.

He went on to talk about reasons why students might want to look at a career within the space industry. Chiefly, these are

  • Space is an international industry giving opportunity for travel
  • It is a diverse industry with many interesting roles
  • As a growing industry, opportunities will continue to expand; it is estimated that 80,000 more skilled workers will be needed in the industry by 2030

He commented that for those with the right skills, looking for employment is not necessary as the jobs will find them! He stated that this is the most highly skilled sector of all.

By way of a further explanation, Marino went onto describe the sector as having two areas: upstream and downstream.

Upstream is everything which is needed to execute the successful design, research and putting of craft such as satellites into space.

Downstream is everything which exploits the information generated by space payloads. This might include earth observations such as weather fronts or satellite navigation and covers many everyday activities such as the time on a mobile ‘phone or telephone banking.

75% of all space industry jobs are within the downstream category.

In all cases, he went on to explain that the qualifications required are STEM subjects such as those studied at The Leigh UTC.

Marino then went on to show students a number of current ESA projects including exploration of the universe using different imaging techniques and star mapping. One surprising recent discovery is that some stars actually move between different galaxies rather than being contained to one.

Students particularly enjoyed a video of a current cosmonaut preparing a meal of a wrap in zero gravity!

Thank you Marino for taking the time to visit The Leigh UTC