Young Astronaut Training Facility Could Be Established at Shetland Space Centre

24th Feb 2021
Mike Mongo

Shetland Space Centre has come up with a new and ambitious idea – creating a training centre for young people. Offered by a Californian astronaut teacher Mike Mongo, this idea is supported by Unst Island’s remote location, which is a perfect site to train young people before future space missions. Mongo believes that the future of jobs is in space, and it is right about time to educate young professionals in this area. But will this bold idea get support from SSC management?

Shetland Space Centre as a training site 

While it is not quite clear if Shetland Space Centre will approve a training facility for children, writer and teacher Mike Mongo, who came up with the suggestion in the first place, is very optimistic about the odds. He points out that people have been travelling to space since 1961, and now might be the time to get kids space-ready, too. 

Mongo believes that Unst is a perfect site for such a training centre. Its remote location will present appropriate challenges to youngsters and put them in the right mind for space travel. He believes that Disney-like locations are useless for that goal, while Unst is primal and authentic enough. He also believes that to date, people remain mere tourists in space. However, this situation might well change for the next generation who may have actual jobs in space. 

He also notes that similar training facilities already exist in Hawaii. However, Shetland Space Centre has what it takes to become a more permanent site for training young astronauts. 

When faced with a suggestion for the space training centre, SSC CEO Frank Strang said that everything could be possible. He added that the training centre idea has already been discussed as one of the major universities has already voiced a similar suggestion. Strang understands the importance of training a new generation of astronauts and says that developing STEM programmes plays a major part in that. He also adds that Yvette Hopkins, SSC operations director, will soon start working on a whole series of initiatives for youngsters.

So, it looks like a youth training facility could well be established at SSC. However, at this point, we should not forget that Shetland Space Centre is still waiting for a launch approval, which means that a training centre will have to wait, too.

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