It’s lift-off for Nathan’s out-of-this-world trip

Nathan Sayle

Nathan Sayle

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A teenager is looking forward to an experience out of this world after being chosen to attend a space school in the USA.

Nathan Sayle, 16, is one of just 40 people selected from the hundreds around the world who applied for NASA’s United Space School summer programme.

He will spend two weeks in Houston, Texas, in July, learning about NASA, spending time at Mission Control, meeting astronauts and looking at how a manned mission to Mars could be carried out.

His proud mum, Mandy, of Guernsey Avenue, Buckshaw Village, said: “It’s absolutely amazing. The criteria is so very tough and so few kids make it, but he is on and we are absolutely over the moon.”

Nathan said: “I’m very much looking forward to it, especially since I will spend a lot of time with other people from around the world. It will be great fun to meet new people, experience other cultures and do something we are all interested in.”

Balshaw’s CE High School pupil Nathan was inspired to apply for the space school by his brother Daniel, 24, who attended in 2008 and has since been a mentor for young people on the programme.

Daniel, who is now a chartered tax accountant in Edinburgh, became interested when astronauts visited his school in the Isle of Man, where the family then lived.

And after hearing all about Daniel’s experience at space school, Nathan was keen to follow in his footsteps.

He had to submit his CV and a letter of recommendation from his physics teacher, along with an essay he had written about why he wanted to attend space school, to the Foundation For International Space Education as part of his application. He also had to do an interview over Skype while on a school trip in Paris.

The space school could be the first step towards Nathan achieving his ambition of working for NASA.

He is interested in science and would prefer to design rockets rather than become an astronaut.

Mandy, 50, said: “Nathan’s physics and maths are immense. He wants to go into science-based work and ultimately he would like to work with NASA. It’s his ultimate goal.”

The family is looking for anyone who can sponsor Nathan to help cover the cost of the trip. Email nathan.sayle@gmail.com.