ASDC and science centres and museums around the UK went beyond infinity, celebrating Disney and Pixar’s “Lightyear”. The movie is the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear, the hero who inspired the toy, and follows the legendary Space Ranger on an intergalactic sci-fi adventure.
The team at ASDC worked with a panel of top space science advisors to co-develop a national engagement campaign, timing engagements across the country with a programme of resources designed to encourage exploration, curiosity and understanding of some of the big concepts that link with the movie with science. These resources were available at science centres and museums around the UK for visitors to enjoy interactive, hands-on and in-person science activities inspired by the movie.
Events and activities ran throughout the summer of 2022 at participating science centres and museums. A brief summary of impact can be downloaded here.
As part of the programme development, ASDC organised training and development workshops for the science centres and museums taking part with a panel of esteemed space science advisors to provide a deeper understanding of the science behind the science-fiction in the movie.
The panel of top space science advisors:
Professor Jim Al Khalili, Theoretical Physicist and chair in the public engagement in science at the University of Surrey who shared his expertise of relativity, time dilation and the reality of interstellar travel.
Sophie Allan, Head of Teaching and Learning from the National Space Academy who talked about the definition of a Lightyear and shared a guide to astronomical distances, the increasing diversity of human space exploration, and brought some of the science themes of the film to life with hands-on demonstrations.
Dr Kierann Shah, ASDC Project Director, who talked about plans for Lunar Gateway missions and construction, rocket fuel, what would a real life "Space Command" site might look like, and the future of space exploration
Libby Jackson, Exploration Science Manager at the UK Space Agency, Formerly Flight Director for the ISS Columbus Control Centre covering human spaceflight.
Jeremy Curtis, Head of Skills and Education at the UK Space Agency and the chair of the organising committee for the UK Space Conference.
Dr Claire Davies, Lecturer in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Exeter, winner of the Institute of Physics’ Phillips Award 2021 “for her unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion, and her pioneering work fostering and nurturing networks between LGBTQ+ physicists in academia and industry.” Claire joins to share her expertise in exoplanets.
Dr Chris Ogunlesi, Materials and Test Engineer working on spacecraft propulsion. Chris joins the panel to support on space propulsion and materials.
Abbie Hutty, Lead Systems Engineer, Lunar Rover Missions at ispace Europe, formerly Principle Systems Engineer for Airbus’ Sample Fetch Rover Mission, prior to that Systems Engineering support for ExoMars. Abbie is also a trustee for the Institution of Engineering and Technology and Network Mentor for Space4Women, an initiative of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). Abbie joins the panel to support on robotic space exploration and spacecraft.
Dr Sheila Kanani MBE, Education Outreach and Diversity Officer for the Royal Astronomical Society, awarded the MBE in recognition of services to astronomy and diversity in physics. Sheila has a PhD in planetary science focussing on Saturn and joins the advisory panel to support with questions about astronomy.