Big clean-up: children from Dnipro learned about space debris

21 Dec 2023
Велике космічне прибирання

Jan and Joachim Checherski’s book Beyond the Sky: The Great Space Cleanup was published and translated by Association Noosphere. On December 15, an educational event for children dedicated to the problem of littering in Earth’s orbit was held in the Dnipro Central City Library.

Garbage exists not only on Earth, but also in space. Missing satellites, rocket stages, pieces of casing, and even tools that fell from the hands of astronauts – all these things threaten to make the space around the Earth unusable. The book Beyond the Sky: The Great Space Cleanup by Dutch authors Jan and Joachim Checherski ” is devoted to this problem. Association Noosphere translated and published the graphic novel, and students of Noosphere Engineering School created a mobile application for it with augmented reality.

During the event, the authors presented the book and told the story of creation of the graphic novel. In addition, Yulia Prybytkova, executive director of the NGO AMCYCE (Planetarium Noosphere), presented a film based on the book created by the Planetarium team.

As part of the event, awards were presented to the winners of the Great Space Cleanup competition, which was organized by Association Noosphere together with the Dnipro Academy of Continuing Education. Schoolchildren from Dnipropetrovsk Oblast created postcards and posters, podcasts, animated videos, presentations, and wrote their own stories. Among 300 entries , the jury chose the best 15, with another 20 receiving honorable mention prizes.

The children had the opportunity to talk to Karthik Kumar of the European Space Agency, an analog astronaut who also worked on the European Commission project to solve the problem of space debris and develop technologies for its removal. Attendees were able to ask him questions and share their own ideas for fighting space pollution.

Winners of the International School Space Experiment Competition from the Dnipro Youth Academy of Sciences, shared their impressions of their trip to the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. There, schoolchildren from Dnipro and Kryvyi Rih watched the launch of the rocket that transported their experiments to the International Space Station.

As part of the event, 15-year-old Kyrylo Blagodarov from Dnipro shared his own mini-film about space debris. For several years, he has been seriously studying the problem of pollution in Earth’s orbit and has already managed to attend prestigious European scientific conferences to present his findings to experts.

Space shots “Science vs. cinematography” concluded the intense chprogram. Children watched excerpts from popular films and cartoons about space, and experts explained whether the things depicted were possible in reality.

The youngest guests also had the opportunity to listen to a lecture by the legendary astronomer and science educator Lyudmila Marchenko and win prizes in a science quiz.

The event also included an online lecture by Tim Florer, the head of the ESA’s  Space Debris Office. He talked about the pollution of the Earth’s orbit and how ESA specialists are fighting it.