Virgin Galactic astronaut took Clevedon School flag to space
- Credit: Virgin Galactic
The lead engineer on Richard Branson's first fully-crewed Virgin Galactic trip to space took the flag of Clevedon School to the edge of space with him.
Minutes after landing, former Clevedon School student Colin Bennett revealed he had carried his former school’s flag on his journey aboard Virgin Galactic on Sunday.
The flag, bearing the school’s “Be Kind be Brilliant” motto soared 53 miles into space and will soon be returned to school for display and to act as an inspiration to other explorers.
He told the Times: "The school was kind enough to send me the flag to take up there with me.
"It was a huge honour to do that. Looking forward to sending it back to them with some pictures”
To mark his successful career, culminating in a space flight on Sunday, Clevedon School has named their science block, The Colin Bennett Science Centre, after him.
He added: “It has been really lovely and kind of overwhelming to see all the messages of support from back home and a real honour to have the block named after me.
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“It is about inspiring the next generation and to show kids and anyone who has dreams of this type of thing, that it is possible. Anyone can do it.”
Clevedon School's physics teacher, Andy Davis taught Colin at Clevedon School and still teaches there now.
He told the Times: "It has been amazing to hear about Colin’s journey from Clevedon to outer space.”
Current student Kitty Farrell said: “Colin’s achievement is really inspiring to all the students at this school.”
Colin was responsible for the in-flight cabin procedures on the VSS Unity spaceplane as it ascended to space. He was joined on board by Beth Moses, Sirisha Bandla and Virgin Galactic founder, Richard Branson.
Pilots Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci controlled the spacecraft.
Richard Branson had labelled the flight as a test to see how feasible it would be to venture into commercial space travel.