Luke Bussell, a Year 11 student at Bootham School and member of the School’s Astronomy group, got more than he bargained for when he started doing his research for the annual “Society for the History of Astronomy” essay prize. Choosing to write about the history of unmanned exploration of Mars, he contacted the “British Interplanetary Society” to quiz their experts in this fascinating field. They were so impressed with the depth of Luke’s IT skills that they have recruited him as a software engineer to work on their project “KickSat”. This project will see the launch into orbit of hundreds of tiny independent satellites, each capable of sending data back to Earth that could potentially help with climate monitoring, communications developments or other applications as yet uninvented. Luke was invited to visit the British Interplanetary Society HQ to assist with the KickSat project, he said,
I had a good day and ended up in a lead role programming the Sprite.
This time next year, orbiting spacecraft that Luke has helped to design may be flying unseen all around the world. Mike Shaw, Housemaster, biology teacher and astronomy enthusiast at the independent School commented,
It’s not bad is it, for someone who hasn’t even started his A levels yet!