A flying visit to Grimsby by British astronaut Michael Foale was the highlight of this year’s round of graduation ceremonies.


Mr Foale, who was born in Louth and is a veteran of five space flights, made time to meet schoolchildren from Grimsby and Louth at a special event organised by the university at Grimsby College.


He received British astronaut Michael Foale will be on a flying visit to Grimsby on Monday 17th July 2000 to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside.


Before the graduation ceremony the Louth-born astronaut will take time out to meet three groups of primary school pupils at Grimsby College. He will judge the winning entry in a competition to design a spaceship and will present a prize to the winning group.


Mr Foale, who is taking a break from space training in Russia to make this special trip to Grimsby, will also be interviewed in the TV studio at Grimsby College before attending the university’s annual graduation ceremony at Grimsby Auditorium.


Three local primary schools have been invited to take part in the event. They are:


Lisle Marsden Junior School, Grimsby (01472 311040, Alison Muir)

Humberston CE Primary School, Humberston (01472 813474, Richard Dawson)

St Michael’s School, Louth (01507 603867, Maria Teanby)


Pupils from each school have spent the current half-term researching the solar system and designing a space ship for a manned mission to Mars.


The three schools will each will send six pupils and one member of staff to meet Michael Foale, who will judge the winners of the competition and answer questions posed by the children.


This event will take place from 11.30am to 12.30pm in the Drum Bar, Grimsby College, Nuns Corner, Grimsby.


Mr Foale will then attend the university’s graduation ceremony at Grimsby Auditorium at 2.30pm, where he will be presented with an honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside.

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Michael Foale, contd


Michael Foale (43) was born in Louth, studied physics at Cambridge University and completed a doctorate in laboratory astrophysics at Cambridge in 1982.


He was selected as a NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) astronaut in June 1987 and flew his first mission in March 1992.


Now a veteran of five space flights, he most recently spent four months on board the Russian space station Mir (May - October 1997) and took part in a mission to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope (December 1999).


The Hubble mission required Michael to undertake a spacewalk of more than eight hours and brought his total mission experience to over 168 days in space.


The university’s Grimsby graduation is being shared with students from Grimsby College who will be at the auditorium to receive their BTEC (HNC and HND) and degree certificates.


Grimsby College is an associate college of the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside and runs courses accredited by the university.


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Members of the press and broadcast media will have the chance to interview and photograph Mr Foale after the ceremony in a press call to be staged at Grimsby Auditorium.


Please contact Jez Ashberry to make the necessary arrangements. My mobile telephone number on the day of the graduation ceremony will be 0780 3513844.


For more information contact:


Jez Ashberry

Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincolnshire & Humberside

Tel: 01522 886042

email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk




MICHAEL FOALE - 17th July 2000







11am              Michael Foale arrives



11.30am         Schools competition judging

                        Schools questions and answer session

                        Photo opportunities


                        Drum Bar, Grimsby College, Nuns Corner


                        Press welcome



12.30pm         TV interview


                        TV studio, Grimsby College, Nuns Corner



2.30pm           Graduation Ceremony         

                        Photo opportunities


                        Grimsby Auditorium


                        Press welcome



4.15pm           Press call

                        Photo opportunities


                        Main stage, Grimsby Auditorium


                        Press welcome



5pm                Michael Foale departs



[Please note that the above schedule is subject to change as circumstances demand.]