Send us news, start your message Messenger News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Partington resident, Anthony Henderson, plans to send his Lego astronaut into space
AS NASA’s ‘Curiosity’ lands on Mars, one Partington resident is planning to boldly go where no man has gone before – into space in a ping pong ball.
He may not be of NASA standard, but Lego astronaut Buzz will soon be shooting up into the stars as part of a scientific experiment being conducted by independent space programme, JP Aerospace.
Buzz’s owner, 30-year-old Anthony Henderson, decided to send his prized astronaut into space after he received an email about the ‘PongSat’ mission.
The mission’s aim is to send 1000 PongSats, made of ping pong balls, filled with mini experiments to the edge of space by weather balloon.
Anthony, who works for exam board Pearson Education, said: “Originally I just planned to pledge money to the PongSat mission but after pledging I began to think about sending my own PongSat.
“Sitting at my computer as I wrote to John Powell [of JP Aerospace] I noticed my Lego astronaut. I’ve always played with Lego and have tons of the stuff about. I saw the astronaut and thought surely every astronaut’s dream is to go into space and it was then that I decided it was what I wanted to send.”
After contacting Lego, Anthony discovered that the childrens’ toy has in fact been into space before, but never as part of a privately funded mission.
Now, Anthony is preparing to send Buzz, named after the often overlooked Apollo 11 pilot and of course, Buzz Lightyear, to the Black Rock desert in Nevada, where the weather balloon will launch on September 22.
“I have always been interested in science and wasn’t it every boys dream to be an astronaut?” he said, “I’ve missed the boat now but it isn’t too late for Buzz.”
Once he has completed his journey, Buzz will be returned to Anthony with a certificate and mission DVD authenticating his place on the mission.
For more information about the PongSat mission visit jpaerospace.com