10-Year-Old’s Lunar Dream Soars: Astro Liz’s on Vulcan Centaur Enroute to Moon

Vulcan Centaur mission
Image courtesy: SWNS

Young Scientist’s Lunar Aspiration A 10-year-old girl from Leicester, England, Elizabeth Norman, has made headlines by contributing a time capsule to the lunar orbit.

Backyard Rocket Launch Catches ULA’s Eye In 2020, Elizabeth created a 7-foot-tall cardboard model of the Vulcan Centaur, the US’s first commercial space project to the moon. Astonishingly, it soared 30 feet into the air, capturing the attention of scientists at the United Launch Alliance (ULA).

Social Media Virality Leads to Lunar Opportunity The video of Elizabeth’s backyard rocket launch went viral on her social media platforms, earning her an invitation from Tory Bruno, the CEO of ULA.

A Passion Ignited Elizabeth’s fascination with space ignited in July 2020 when she watched NASA’s Perseverance Rover’s flight to Mars. This curiosity led her to delve into online resources, conduct science experiments, and even start a science-themed YouTube channel.

Astro Liz Sticker on Real Rocket Impressed by Elizabeth’s enthusiasm, Tory Bruno invited her to place a sticker reading ‘Astro Liz’s Lab’ on the actual Vulcan Centaur rocket. Her family watched the live launch from Cape Canaveral, cheering on her creation.

Parental Gratitude and Overwhelming Surrealism Expressing gratitude to Astrobotic for the opportunity, Elizabeth’s parents, Steve and Jennifer, believe this is not just her achievement but also an inspiration for other children interested in space. Jennifer remarked on the surreal speed of Elizabeth’s dream taking off.

Vulcan Centaur Mission Details The primary payload of the Vulcan Centaur mission is the Peregrine lunar lander, developed by Astrobotic. The lander, carrying 20 payloads, reached the lunar orbit, 225,000 miles from Earth. However, an unexpected post-launch complication threatens its ability to land on the moon.

ULA Working on Solutions While the Peregrine lunar lander is scheduled for a hard landing near the Gruitheisen Domes on February 23, the ULA team is actively working on resolving the unexpected challenge post-launch.

Unprecedented Opportunity for Young Scientists Elizabeth’s journey serves as an inspiration for young aspiring scientists, emphasizing the unforeseen opportunities that passion and creativity can unlock in the realm of space exploration.

Re-reported from the article originally published in The shethepeople

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