Teen ‘out of this world’ after his art was sent to space

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A 13-year-old space enthusiast from Co Kildare feels out of this world after seeing his artwork sent to the International Space Station (ISS).

Brendan Brown of Kilcullen designed one of 24 mission patches launched to the ISS in a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center on December 21 last year.

Brendan’s design was chosen following a competition organized by the University of Liverpool.

Brendan’s Mission Patch Design

Scientists are using microgravity to understand what happens to human muscles as we age, and why.

They placed lab-grown muscle cells in 24 separate containers that were sent to the ISS.

Each container has its own mission patch – similar to the emblems worn by astronauts and mission affiliates.

Brendan said: “I’ve always had an interest in science and engineering, so I’m very happy to be one of the 24 models that have been chosen to go to the International Space Station.

“It’s cool to be part of such a great experiment. My design includes a photo of the Liver bird from the Liver building in Liverpool standing on top of the earth, with the International Space Station in the background.”

Brendan has “always had an interest in science and engineering”

When astronauts spend time in space, their muscles weaken, just as they do in old age.

By studying what happens to muscle tissue in microgravity, the University of Liverpool team can compare the results to what happens on Earth.

They hope this will help solve the riddle of why muscles get weaker with age and find possible ways to prevent it.

Earlier this month, video footage showed European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer unpacking and setting up the experiment, including the 24 cell containers, on the International Space Station.

Brendan’s father Brian said: “It’s a huge achievement for him. How many people around the world – let alone Ireland – have seen something go up on the International Space Station!”

Brian Brown says it’s a big achievement for his son

As for Brendan, he hopes this is just the first of many missions.

One day, he hopes to become a rocket engineer for NASA.

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