Hull Space-Mission Competition

BBC Radio Humberside and the University of Hull are teaming up to offer an exciting opportunity for primary schools to be involved in Hull’s first mission into space.

To mark Hull’s role as the UK City of Culture 2017, as well as the host city for the annual National Astronomy Meeting (NAM), BBC Radio Humberside is launching a high-altitude helium-filled meteorological balloon into the Earths atmosphere. During flight, the capsule will be taking pictures and recording videos as well as collecting environmental and scientific data.

Approximately 2 hours into the mission, the capsule will reach an altitude between 30 and 40 kilometres (thats space-suit territory!). At this point, the on-board camera will take a photograph of a special object that best embodies Hull, as chosen by BBC Radio Humberside listeners

After the balloon bursts and the capsule parachutes back to Earth, the black box and images will be recovered. A video of the mission will be made and the data recorded during the flight will be available to all schools and educational institutions in the region.

But what should we call this mission?

Every space mission needs a memorable name, for example NASA’s Curiosity rover or ESA’s Galileo satellite. With this in mind, BBC Radio Humberside and the University of Hull are asking local primary schools to come up with some mission name suggestions as part of a competition. The winning suggestion will become the official name of the mission and will be broadcast both locally and nationally.

The winning school will be invited to send a small group of students to the actual launch of the high-altitude helium balloon on Tuesday 27th June. The winning school, along with the 3 runner up schools, will also be invited to attend a space themed engagement day happening on Wednesday 5th July on the University of Hull campus as part of the NAM conference.

What are the criteria?

We are open to any and all suggestions, although, we want a name that is iconic, adventurous and represents Hull in a positive way. We recommend that schools encourage their students to get creative and come up with a variety of suggestions, however, each school will only be allowed to submit 1 name for the competition. All submissions will then be judged by a panel made up of scientists and presenters from the University of Hull and BBC Radio Humberside.

To enter, please send your suggestion along with a short description (maximum 50 words) explaining why you chose it and how it represents Hull. The competition closes at 4pm on Tuesday 9th May and your entry needs to be submitted before then. Schools will find out if they have been successful at the start of June. Entries can be sent to the University of Hull Science Outreach Office via email or post (see below). For any and all questions please contact the Science Outreach Office using the contact details below.

Additional/Important Information

  • Competition is aimed at students in year 5 and 6 groups.
  • Primary schools need to have a Hull postcode in order to enter.
  • All entries (email or postal) should be addressed for the attention of Phil Bell-Young.
  • Entries can be written by hand or computer and can be sent within an email, as an email attachment or posted.
  • We do advise that you get creative whilst coming up with a name. If during this process your students produce something else alongside a name and explanation (i.e. a picture or photo) which they would also like to submit then this is fine, however, this may not be taken into consideration whilst judging the entries.
  • If you would like to tweet your progress or pictures then you can use twitter handles @rasnam2017 @UniofHull @HullUniScience @RadioHumberside.
  • Information regarding the launch location and time, as well as travel information, will be sent to schools in early June but the current planned date is Tuesday 27th June.
  • School group sizes for the launch are limited to between 10-15 students.
  • Information regarding the space and astrophysics school engagement day (part of the National Astronomy Meeting) happening on Wednesday 5th July will be sent to schools in early June. This will include a programme of activities.
  • School group sizes for the engagement day are limited to 30 per school.

Contact and Submission Details

Phil Bell-Young (Science Outreach Officer)

Faculty of Science and Engineering

63 Salmon Grove

University of Hull

Cottingham Road




T. 01482 466432