Meet an astronaut

Dr Don Thomas.

Living Maths, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics-based NGO, is bringing Dr Don Thomas, a former NASA astronaut, to Cape Town for the Space Tour 2017.

Students and families will have an opportunity to get into the same room with a bona fide spaceman when Dr Thomas visits the country for a series of public talks and school visits.

The talks will take place on Monday October 30 at Jan Van Riebeeck Primary School in the CBD; on Wednesday November 1 at Bergvliet High School; and on Thursday November 2 at Parklands College Preparatory, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

During his seven years with NASA, Dr Thomas completed four shuttle missions, logging over 1040 hours of adventuring in space.

His inaugural mission aboard the STS-65 Columbia in July 1994 set a new flight duration record for the US Space Shuttle programme with 236 orbits of the Earth and 6.1 million miles travelled in 353 hours and 55 minutes.

Steve Sherman, chief imagination officer at Living Maths, says: “Our mission is to inspire and excite South African children about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Space is undoubtedly one of those key topics that can ignite a lifelong passion for these subjects.

“How many of us actually get the opportunity to meet a real astronaut? For some, it’s a dream come true! The Space Tour will be a rare and special opportunity for the daydreamers, the imagineers, the scientists and the curious in our country to learn more and be inspired.”

Dr Thomas says: “I am taking part in the Living Maths Space Tour for two reasons. As only 550 humans have had the opportunity to fly in space, I feel a sense of responsibility to share what I have seen and experienced with others. I have completed 692 orbits of the Earth and have seen first-hand the beauty and fragility of our planet, and I think it is important to share important lessons with my fellow citizens of Planet Earth. And secondly, I am keenly interested in having humans set foot on Mars in the future.

“I know I am too old myself to undertake a mission to Mars 20 years from now, but I hope I can excite and inspire your young learners to follow in my footsteps and perhaps, become future Mars explorers.”

Ticket prices range between R50 and R80. Book through Webtickets

For more information visit www.livingmaths.com

Depending on demand, additional dates may be added to the tour.