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Aspiring Yeppoon astronaut over the moon at space camp

St Ursulas College student Sarah Callinan has returned from Space Camp in the United States with an even stronger desire to work in the space industry. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
St Ursulas College student Sarah Callinan has returned from Space Camp in the United States with an even stronger desire to work in the space industry. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

SARAH Callinan is blasting off to a future of her dreams.

And with her first set of wings and a qualification from an international space camp, the want-to-be astronaut is well on her way to making sure those dreams come true.

The St Ursula's College student returned home to Yeppoon earlier this week from the US Space and Rocket Centre in Alabama after winning a scholarship to spend a week at the camp last month.

Sarah, 17, said it was an amazing experience she'd never forget.

"The space centre in Alabama absolutely blew my mind and I did things there I thought I'd never have the chance to do," she said.

"We did lots of engineering challenges like designing space suits, heat shields and launching rockets, while also training for missions.

"We also had talks from astronauts and representatives from NASA. It was so inspiring to meet a teacher who became an astronaut.

"Being over there just proved that this is what I want to do, it was everything I thought it was going to be and more."

If completing astronaut missions and graduating from space camp wasn't exciting enough, Sarah found out she had won the prestigious Tuckwell Scholarship to study at the Australian National University two days before she left the country.

"There was a lot of excitement after finding out I'd been successful for the scholarship while packing for USA," she said.

"The Tuckwell Scholarship is, in my opinion, the best scholarship out there so I was so happy when I found out.

"I'll be studying a dual degree of engineering research and development and international relations where I'll receive $22,000 a year over the five years of my degree.

"The scholarship also means I get to meet different people that I might not have had the opportunity to meet, as well as ongoing academic and career mentoring. The space stations want engineers as astronauts so the engineering background will give me a good foundation.

"The dream is to one day be an astronaut and I'll work as hard as I can to pursue that."

Sarah will start her dual degree next year in Canberra.

Topics:  astronaut st ursula's college



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