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AIMING HIGH Irish teen with dreams of becoming NASA rocket engineer left feeling out of this world after artwork sent into space

An Irish teenager’s artwork has been chosen to be transported into space.

Derry teenager Brendan Brown won a University of Liverpool competition to have his mission patch launched into space.
Brendan created one of 24 mission patches that were flown to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on December 21, 2017.

The competition is part of the MicroAge initiative at the University of Liverpool, which aims to learn more about how and why muscles age.

Microgravity causes astronauts’ muscles to deteriorate, just like ageing does.

Before being sent to space, muscle cells the size of a grain of rice were cultivated on Earth in a 3D-printed protective container the size of a pencil sharpener.

Each container has its own mission patch, identical to those worn by astronauts and mission personnel.

“I’ve always had an interest in science and engineering, so I’m extremely glad to be” Brendan said RTE.

A big experiment is fantastic to be a part of. It features the Liver bird from Liverpool’s Liver skyscraper above the earth with the International Space Station in the background.”

The competition is part of the MicroAge initiative at the University of Liverpool, which aims to learn more about how and why muscles age.

Microgravity causes astronauts’ muscles to deteriorate, just like ageing does.

This accelerated ageing process will help researchers better comprehend muscle deterioration.

This could one day help people age with strength and mobility.

NASA AIM
Scientists will constantly examine the results to piece together how the tissue responds to microgravity and ageing on the ISS.

The University of Liverpool researchers can compare what happens to muscle tissue in microgravity to what happens on Earth.

They think this will help them figure out why muscles weaken with age and how to prevent it.

“It’s a fantastic achievement for him,” Brian, Brendan’s father, stated. I mean, how many people have had anything go up on the International Space Station?!”

The Kildare teen hopes this is only the first of many trips and has his sights set on becoming a NASA rocket engineer.

one of the 24 designs chosen for the ISS.