Earth to Manchester: Celebrated astronaut Mike Foale to land at Whalley Range school

British/American astronaut Mike Foale will touchdown at William Hulme’s Grammar School on Thursday May 11 to meet with students and share tales of his cosmos explorations.

Foale was born and educated in the UK before moving to the US in the early 1980s to pursue his ambitions in astronomy.

Peter Mulholland, the principal of William Hulme’s Grammar School in Whalley Range, said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming Mike, in what is a real coup for the school.

“It’s also a fantastic, once in a lifetime opportunity for our students to meet an astronaut of Mike’s experience and hear of his adventures in space.”

Foale joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1983, was accepted as an astronaut candidate in 1987 and took part in six space shuttle missions with them.

In 1999, he made history as the first Briton to walk in space while spending eight hours working on the Hubble Space Telescope.

Foale was commander of International Space Station Expedition 8 with Russian cosmonaut, Aleksandr Kaleri, and took part in a tour of duty from October 2003 that would last six months in space.

He was named Commander in the Order of the British Empire in 2004.

After a 26-year career, Foale left NASA in 2013 and is now involved with the International Space Schools Education Trust, which gives students of all ages unique experiences to team up with astronauts, rocket scientists and business professionals.

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