Partnership That Works
Stella Felix, 17 on September 23, 2006 became the first African teenager to experience the exhilaration of Zero-Gravity on a parabolic flight from the NASA Keneddy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, USA. This was widely reported by Spaceweek International Association (SIA) a non-governmental organization.
Stella Felix who hails from Ebonyi State in Nigeria is an SS3 student of the Moremi High School, Ile-Ife. Felix was selected for this honor in recognition of her dedication to education and interest in science. She is one of seven children from a poor family, and she has to walk three miles everyday to school.
Robert Boroffice, director general of the National Space Research and Development Agency, was quoted as saying that “Felix was picked based on the criteria sent in by the SIA requesting that the nominee be a female student aged between 15 and 18 from a poor family with a compelling story,” he said.
The flight, which was a two-hour mission on board G-Force One was manned by trained pilots who maneuvered the aircraft between 24,000 feet (7,200 meters) and 32,000 feet (9,600 meters) altitude.
Stella benefitted from a pre-flight educational training program which was led by a former astronaut. This was in addition to space suit to keep, mission patch, log book, complimentary digital video, photographs of the flight, other memorabilia and a certificate. The parabolic flight for each person cost approximately $5000. According to Robert H. Brumley, CEO of TerreStar Networks Inc. “Building the global high-tech workforce of tomorrow begins today by exposing young people to the exciting opportunities in space-related technologies.”
The World Space Week Youth Inspiration Program in which Stella participated is an initiative directed at inspiring students. It encourages student to learn science and math while promoting international understanding. Spaceweek International Association, organizers of the event, partnered with TerreStar Networks and Zero Gravity Corporation to sponsor Stella Felix on The ZERO-G Experience as part of the inaugural activities marking the World Space Week Youth Inspiration Program 2006.
“We are proud to send Stella on a truly out-of-this-world experience,” said Courtney Stadd, SIA Chairman. “Indeed, World Space Week demonstrates to young people globally that dreams can come true by excelling in school.”
“Felix was picked based on
the criteria sent in by the SIA
requesting that the nominee
be a female student aged
between 15 and 18 from a
poor family with a compelling
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