Hannah Bakuwell,15, fell in love with the stars as a kid and is excited to live her astronaut dream for two weeks at a NASA Space Camp in Texas this December. Photo Paul Mitchell

Waiheke High School student Hannah Bakuwel, 15, doesn’t have her head in the clouds, she’s aiming much higher. Her dream is to be the first Kiwi astronaut and  now she is heading to NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas as part of the California Association for STEM Education Space School international study program. 

Hannah says she got this opportunity thanks to the support of her science teacher, Katherine Cole, who found and organised it through an educational company called Actura. The two-week programme will also take her to Silicon Valley and include projects such as designing a Mars mission – building and testing scaled down versions of heat shields for atmospheric re-entry, rovers and habitats.

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