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Air Cadets complete an expedition out of this World

For almost 12 months, cadets at 2505 (Bishop Auckland) Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC) have been studying the exploration of space. 

Earlier this week, nine cadets and staff returned  to the UK from an amazing ‘out of this world’ 10 day expedition to Florida, USA. 

Highlights of which included seeing three rocket launches from Kennedy Space Centre, a full-day astronaut training experience, touring NASA’s Space Centre and Atlantis Space Shuttle. Cdt Cpl Millie Wakes and Cdt Cpl Elissa Peacock also presented via Teams to the whole squadron back in the UK, sharing their experiences and views of NASA’s rocket garden, and the whole team had breakfast with a space shuttle pilot, Lt Colonel Ken Cameron who flew missions in space, not many cadets can say they have done that!  

Astronaut training equipment
NASA astronaut training facility

In addition cadets explored aircraft and helicopters from Orange County Sheriffs Office, hiked with a guide in a sub-tropical park and visited EPCOT (experimental prototype community of tomorrow). The expedition supports the Air Training Corps motto of ‘Venture Adventure’ and the practical application of STEM. 

Cdt Sgt Issac Clerk said ‘what a fantastic experience, I would love one day to travel to space’,

Atlantis Space Shuttle cockpit
Atlantis Space Shuttle cockpit

Flt Lt Ian Pepper added how ‘over the last 12 months the whole squadron has studied space, including completion of the blue and bronze space awards, visiting the UK Space Centre in Leicester, exploring the International Space Station using our VR flight SIM and heard from many outside speakers about the solar system, space travel, global positioning satellites etc., the expedition to Florida is the culmination for the few lucky cadets’