16-year-old Simon Shemetilo, from Tower Hamlets, will have VIP access to the launch of Inmarsat’s latest communications satellite from the SpaceX launch site in Cape Canaveral, Florida, this February.
Simon was chosen as one of two winners against hundreds of entrants for his presentation answering the question ‘how do you think satellites in space will help improve life on Earth in the future?’. Scouts support young people to develop skills for life and Simon used these skills to develop their completion entry.
The competition was open to Scouts aged 10-18 years of age. One winner was chosen from the 10-14 Scout age group and one winner from the 15-18 Explorer Scout age group.
Simon’s winning entry was judged by Scouts’ Ambassador and world-famous astronaut Tim Peake, who praised the teenager’s technical knowledge and creativity.
“We were incredibly impressed by the overall quality of entries, but Simon’s really caught our eye. He used his Scout skills to develop the idea to use reduce the environmental impact of data storage by building a ‘space cloud web’. That is exactly the kind of ingenuity and innovation we need for the future of space.”
Scouts from all over the UK entered the competition, with many entries focusing on how space can help care for the planet. Judges were particularly wowed with the advanced level of knowledge about space, satellites, and the possibilities of future innovation, on show.
During the five-day trip, Simon and one other Scout competition winner will tour NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and watch the launch of Inmarsat’s latest I-6 F2 spacecraft – the most sophisticated commercial communications satellite ever built – with VIPs.
The company is launching the satellite to upgrade its global communications services and build its revolutionary network of the future, ORCHESTRA. The network will provide communications across land, sea, and air in the future and support futuristic technologies like flying taxis and uncrewed aerial vehicles.