1st Hartford Scouts Astronautics Badge



Some news to share.


We have some very exciting news to share with you all, 1st Hartford Scouts have been approached by Ray Stott of SpaceSpecialists Ltd, who was originally a Scout in this Troop and who has made his career for over 30 years within the Space Industry.

To give you a bit of background to Ray, he has worked on satellites, launch vehicles and trained astronauts in space robotics who flew on the International Space Station (ISS).



Scouts will have the opportunity to gain their Astronautics badge.

This is the first time that we have ever been able to give the Scouts the opportunity to gain this badge and to have input from Ray and his contacts in the Space Industry.



Examples of how to earn the Astronautics badge are listed below from the Scout Association

  1. Find out how craters are formed, and what meteorites tell us about the universe. You could experiment using marbles, rubber balls or stones as meteorites, and a tray filled with sand as your planet/moon surface
  2. Compare satellite images of Mars and the Moon with satellite images of Earth. Point out similar landscape features such as craters, valleys and volcanoes
  3. Discuss what Earth observation can tell us about the land, sea and atmosphere
  4. Build your own satellite dish. Discuss what everyday items rely on satellites
  5. In a group, debate about life elsewhere in the universe. What might it look like? How do we search for life on other planets and moons? How would the human race react to the discovery of life elsewhere in the universe?
  6. Find out about the International Space Station and how astronauts live and work onboard
  7. Research a current space mission, such as a mission to Mars. Then, design a model of your own space probe or other spacecraft, including the instruments onboard that enable it to complete its mission
  8. Build, launch and recover a model rocket. Think about the shape of your rocket and why that’s important. Make a second launch to achieve a specific objective, such as reaching a certain height or carrying a fragile payload, like an egg



In response to this, Ray gave the opportunity for Scouts to be involved in:

  • Having talks by key people working in the Space Industry e.g. the European Space Agency (ESA), the Northern Space Consortium (NSC) etc.
  • Learn about rocketry, satellites and the space environment
  • Build and launch rockets
  • Use a virtual reality simulator to experience what it is like on Mars
  • Learn about space projects and current/future space exploration plans
  • Understand how to build, test and launch satellites
  • Learn about the Solar System, in particular, the Moon and Mars
  • Have hands-on experience in working on a project that will be launched to the edge of space
  • Participate in a fun Kahoot Quiz with prizes kindly donated from the European Space Agency and Fairspace
  • Launch a balloon to the edge of Space containing their project with GoPro tracking

This experience has given the Scouts a greater understanding of what it is like working in the Space Industry and the opportunities that they could consider pursuing (for example, they have jobs that use gaming skills!).

The five scout patrols are made up of girls and boys aged 10 – 14, Kestrel, Cobra, Tiger, Otter and Wolf.



The Scouts were treated to talks from a wide variety of top space organisations in the North West of England, including SpaceSpecialists Ltd, the European Space Agency, an asteroid mining company, activities including a virtual reality Mars base and rocket building. Here is the complete list over the 2 evenings in November culminating in launching the Scout's experiments on a balloon launch to the edge of space.


  • Ray Stott, Founder SpaceSpecialists Ltd
  • Alan Cross, North West Ambassador for European Space Agency (ESA)
  • Samantha Graham, Jonny Heirons and Dale Lockett propulsion engineers at European Astrotech
  • Bob Morris, Chairman of Northern Space Consortium (NSC)
  • Mark Waters and Jason Podmore of 4wardfutures, with their virtual reality Mars base
  • Zuzanna Nagadowska, president of Manchester Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (MANSEDS)
  • Mitch Hunter-Scullion of Asteroid Mining Corporation (AMC)
  • Andrew Gray, Space4All Education
  • Vicky Duncalf (Vicky Video)


The Astronautics badge is sponsored by the UK Space Agency (UKSA), and the events have been organised by former Scout Ray Stott. Ray and Scout Leader, Ian Johnson, who were scouts together 40 years ago at 1st Hartford.


  • Wednesday 6th November – Space – The Final Frontier!!!
  • Wednesday 20th November – Space Talk – Astronautics Badge
  • Saturday 30th November - Balloon Launch to the Edge of Space!!


Scout Leader Ian Johnson says, “We hope all the Scouts will get their Astronautics badge and gain an insight into the amazing opportunities happening now in the space sector.”

Next year, 2020, the Scouts will tackle their Astronomy badge.



Here is a summary of the organisations and people who kindly gave their time to help explain to the Scouts about the Space Industry, particularly in the North West of the UK.

Alan Cross, ESA Business Applications Regional Ambassador (North West England & North Wales)

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an intergovernmental organisation of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space.

Established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, ESA has a worldwide staff of about 2,200 in 2018 and an annual budget of about €5.72 billion (~ US$6.43 billion) in 2019.



The Business Applications UK Ambassador Platform is implemented as a network of five regional Ambassador posts embedded in different host organisations, all active in stimulating space-related business development.

Alan is a co-founder and former Chair of the Northern Space Consortium CIC, which aims to nurture the region’s space industry by organising events, engaging, connecting and coordinating the North West of England and North Wales with the key players in the space industry. This covers both upstream and downstream sectors, nationally and internationally.

Alan is a skilled and passionate communicator with a lifelong passion for astronautics and astronomy. He has more than a decade of experience in managing and delivering client-focused solutions, including several years engaging regional businesses and stakeholders within the space industry.

Alan is also a member of, and space adviser to, the North West's Regional Manufacturing Forum working to address challenges and provide leadership for the region’s manufacturing sector.

As the Regional Ambassador, Alan will be exploring how collaboration between businesses can also deliver real change and prosperity to the region. RAP-NW is hosted by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) at their Daresbury site near Warrington.



European Astrotech Ltd (EAL) - Samantha Graham, Jonny Heirons and Dale Lockett

‘European Astrotech Ltd (EAL) specialises in propulsion engineering and chemistry for the space industry and related sectors. EAL provides technical support and consultancy in the fields of space propulsion.

This includes spacecraft propulsion subsystem testing, launch campaigns services, ground support equipment design and build, propellant chemistry and compatibility, document preparation and safety support (risk assessment, site surveys etc). 

Formed in 2007, EAL has customers ranging from start-up companies through to major organisations such as MT-Aerospace, OHB Germany, Airbus and the European Space Agency.  



EAL also provides access to near-space using High Altitude Balloons for experiments in the stratosphere and for commercial launches and educational outreach projects.

Website: www.europeanastrotech.com, www.spaceballoons.co.uk

High Altitude Ballooning by European Astrotech Ltd (HAB by EAL) is a project designed to encourage the next generation of scientists and engineers in the space industry.

We aim to teach A-level STEM students the scientific concepts involved in HAB, experimental research skills, and to demonstrate low-cost, accessible space exploration through high altitude balloon launches.



The process of design, preparation, and coordination exposes students to numerous career paths such as engineering, IT, photography, climatology and aerospace and allows them to directly engage with the tools and procedures used by scientists in those fields.

Launching high altitude balloons engages students in the endless opportunities available in the space industry and ignites their curiosity in problem-solving and creative design.

The project set up is designed to mirror that of an ESA space flight missions so students gain first-hand experience of how real space missions are conducted from start to finish. EAL will check progress after each phase.


Many thanks, Samantha Graham for the great Kahoot quiz on Space!



The Northern Space Consortium (NSC) - Bob Morris

Representing a range of organisations, from advanced composite manufacturers, to digital startups, from Local Enterprise Partnerships, to Universities.

The Northern Space Consortium is the only advocacy group in the North of England dedicated to informing & introducing new & existing businesses to the tremendous opportunities presented by the well established, yet rapidly growing UK space industry.



  • Promote awareness of one of the UK's most innovate, high-skill, value-adding sectors to the businesses, media, public bodies and research institutions of the North of England.
  • Connect the North's existing space industry & encourage collaboration and cooperation in order to grow the region's share of the national and international market.
  • Enable new & existing business to diversify into the space industry.
  • Act as the focal point for the emerging space industry across the North in order to facilitate job creation and economic growth.
  • Extol the capabilities and expertise of the North of England to the wider national and international space industry.
  • Continue to work closely with existing trade and governmental bodies, providing leadership for the North of England in support of the UK Government's National Space Policy.




4wardFutures - Mark Waters and Jason Podmore


4wardFutures is an employer-led charity that is working to advance the education and career opportunities of people in England and Wales

We are aiming to do this by empowering people to move forward in their lives and careers through the development of their career knowledge and transferable work-related skills and behaviours; knowledge and qualities that will help them to explore and plan their future in a world that is rapidly changing and where they may need to prepare for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that have not yet been invented, and spotting and solving problems that we have yet to define clearly.

Through collaborating with employers, universities, training providers and professional organisations, 4wardFutures will develop workshops and events that will give young people the chance to explore the new career opportunities that are becoming available across a wide range of sectors.


Constructing a Life on Mars (CaLoM)

The CaLoM project is a careers education programme that will use the increasing international interest in humans travelling to and living on Mars as a context through which young people can meet and collaborate with people from sectors such as space, construction, design, engineering, architecture, psychology, science, and digital technology in order to:

  • Explore the impact and gain an up-to-date perspective on how career opportunities across a wide range of sectors are changing due to the application of digital technology

  • Explore career opportunities in sectors that they may be interested in and some they may not have yet considered

  • Find out about Higher Education and Higher and degree level apprenticeship progression opportunities

  • Address any concerns they may have about going to university or starting an apprenticeship

  • Develop and demonstrate their personal qualities and skills through working as part of a team



The CaLoM project aligns to the following Gatsby Career Benchmarks:

  • Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Encounters with employers and employees
  • Experiences of workplaces
  • Encounters with further and higher education

This project will also give young people the opportunity to explore how digital technology, Industry 4.0 and advanced manufacturing systems are transforming the nature of career and training opportunities across the engineering, space and the construction sector.


Zuzanna Nagadowska, President of Manchester Students for the Exploration & Development of Space (MANSEDS) & team

Manchester Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (MANSEDS) is an academic student society at The University of Manchester, and was the recipient of the Student Union's Academic and Departmental Society Award 2018.

We are also affiliated with UK Students for the Exploration of Space (UKSEDS) and the Institute of Physics (IoP).



MANSEDS was formed four years ago as a single team to compete in the UKSEDS National Rocketry Competition. Since then we have grown to over 100 active members participating in our skill-based workshops and contributing to our six ambitious student-led projects: CanSat, Lunar Rover, Mars Rover, Mancunian Balloonian, Rocketry and Hybrid Rocket Motor.



MANSEDS aims to provide a platform to discuss and explore ideas related to space and technology, with the goal of improving students’ skills in a variety of technical and non-technical fields. Over the past four years, the range of projects has expanded to cover everything from lunar rovers to rockets.

This expansion has only been possible through the dedication of members and the support received from the university and various sponsors from MACE, UKSEDS and IOP, to name a few. We continue to thank the organisations and individuals who have supported us in our endeavours.

Outreach is another important part of what we do as a society. We attend events aimed at schoolchildren and provide them with demonstrations and hands-on activities that teach them about various areas of space and its exploration.

We also run an annual trip to the UKSEDS National Student Space Conference to provide our members a chance to learn about the ever-growing space industry and network with industry professionals.


Mitch Hunter-Scullion of Asteroid Mining Corporation (AMC)

The Asteroid Mining Corporation Limited was founded in March 2016 by Mitch Hunter-Scullion, who had just completed his dissertation entitled 'The Case for Asteroid Mining: Examining the economic and political benefits to be gained from mining in Space.' Having spent months researching and poring over every resource he could find on the subject; he realised three things.

Firstly, that any company that mines an asteroid is going to become immensely rich as asteroids are simply staggeringly valuable resources, with asteroid over a kilometre in diameter being valued in the trillions of pounds due to their relative abundance of Platinum group metals.



Secondly, that if the human race ever truly wanted to leave Earth, 'the cradle of our civilisation' to explore, live and work in Space then Asteroid Mining was vital to sustaining any size of population as asteroidal materials are vital in the construction of the first large scale private space infrastructure.

With ice recovered from the asteroids supplying the new population of space with its drinking water and oxygen.

Thirdly, he realised that very few companies in the world had been set up with the intentions of mining an asteroid, with the two major players in the field both being American companies.



It was at this moment that he decided that Great Britain, as the country that had brought the world the first and second Industrial Revolutions, should play an equally important role in the third.

That is the goal of the Asteroid Mining Corporation; we aim to advance the march of human progress and civilisation by bringing the world the Third Industrial Revolution: moving as many polluting industries into Space and out of Earth's fragile biosphere as possible so that the Earth can become the garden of the Solar System.


Opening Up The Resources Of The Solar System


AMC imagines and works towards a brighter, interplanetary future.  At the core of our activities is the fundamental truth that if you really want to do something you have to start now, today.

With the recent advances in space technology, it has become increasingly self-evident that humanity has the technological capacity to mine asteroids and unlock the vast mineral wealth found within. In many cases it is a question of worldview; as we transition from a geocentric view of our place in the universe to one centred around the Sun.

We call this helio-centricity; an awareness of the expanded cosmic horizons just beyond the sky. AMC does not need to mine an Asteroid to be commercially successful. AMC proposes a realistic transition; based upon many small successes and technological innovations, to get us to our ultimate goal of mining an Asteroid and establishing an Extraterrestrial Economy.

Our technological development will introduce many revenue streams long before we get near an asteroid. Asteroid Mining is not science fiction, nor a distant dream. It is the today of which we are a part. Space Mining is a small inter-connected global industry; and employs some of the brightest minds of our generation.

The race is on to be the first to mine an asteroid profitably and become one of the biggest corporations of the 21st century. AMC have risen to the challenge. Have you?


Andrew Gray, Space4All Education

We are a small group of space enthusiasts and want to share our passion with all, and encourage students to study hard and enjoy learning about space.

Andy Gray is a teacher for over 20 years in engineering and space and is fully DBS checked.

Andy is qualified in teaching at all levels, therefore, our programmes can be adapted to any age or ability.

We work closely with local and international organizations to ensure we stay up to date and have the latest technology.

We cover the whole of UK and also offer rocket shows for all ages.



I am Andrew Gray, a visually impaired highly dyslexic engineering teacher. I have a great love for space and the industry, the space industry inspired me to try harder in education and achieve my goals. However, due to my sight issues I cannot work in engineering anymore, so my goals changed to what I love, the space industry, and now wish to inspire others into it. I wish to use my passion to inspire others of all aspects of the space industry by showing them how amazing space is by using all sorts of displays from models to posters, handouts, and anything I can get my hands on. Also, what the plans are for their future in the space sector, and how it will impact them in the future. I also want to show that even as a disabled person nothing stops me and it may inspire them to see that, if a blind man can do it, they can do it too.


Vicky Duncalf (Vicky Video)

Video blogger/content writer, Space sector specialist, "Content is king, and I make it bling."

Thanks a million, Vicky for providing your fantastic space marketing videos to get the event publicised and heard!



Some contact points:

Ian Johnson, Scout Leader 1st Hartford Scouts


Ray Stott, SpaceSpecialists Ltd









Vicky Dunclaf (Vicky Video)


Thanks again everyone for all your kind support!

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