Rosetta mission lead scientist gives inspirational talk to pupils in Norwich
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016
He is a scientist best known for his colourful shirts and his leading role in the ground-breaking Rosetta mission.
And yesterday, more than 100 people turned up to listen to him give a talk at the John Innes Centre in Norwich.
European Space Agency (ESA) scientist Dr Matt Taylor travelled all the way from California to speak with local astronomers and school pupils.
It had been arranged by Norwich Astronomical Society, and gave a fascinating insight into the landing of a probe on a comet back in November 2014. Dr Taylor, who is the lead scientist on the Rosetta Mission, spoke about the enormity of the task and what it had been like behind the scenes.
Describing the build-up to the probe's landing, he said it had been 'the most intense' operation ever carried out by the ESA.
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The Rosetta spacecraft was launched in 2004 and reached Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P) in 2014. Despite being almost 500 million miles from earth, the ESA team managed to successfully land a probe on its surface.
Chris Greenfield, volunteer at the astronomical society, said: 'He is an inspirational speaker and very engaging. And it shows when you look at the number of students who stayed behind to speak with him.'
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Will Luxford, 13, from Wymondham High Academy, said: 'I have always been interested in space and I followed the Rosetta programme since the beginning.
'His talk was amazing and has given me more inspiration to pursue a career in the sciences.'