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One giant leap for Coventry students as astronaut takes them training

Mike Foale

Mike Foale

Students at Coventry University have been put through their paces in a gruelling ‘boot camp’ challenge in the Lake District led by former NASA astronaut Michael Foale CBE.


The British-American spaceman, a veteran of six space shuttle missions, gave a talk to students at the University about leadership and teamwork skills, before taking 24 of them on an exclusive expedition to the Lake District for leadership training in the wild.


Mr Foale, also a former International Space Station commander, was speaking to students taking part in the University’s Global Leaders Programme – which is designed to provide an international perspective on leadership.


A group of lucky students then enjoyed an ‘Astronaut Leadership Experience’ over a weekend in the Lake District, with Dr Foale guiding them through a series of climbing, abseiling, orienteering and zip wire challenges to help develop their communication, crisis management and leadership skills.

Two trips are now being planned for students to visit the NASA headquarters in Washington DC later this year, to build on their leadership skills further.

Inderjit Mann, head of the University’s Global Leaders Programme, said: “This was a wonderful experience for our students, who all reported better self awareness and improved leadership skills after the trip, not to mention having a great time. 

“It was a real thrill to have Mike talking at the University and then leading the students on an expedition. The activities were actually devised to replicate how the Russians train their cosmonauts for space walking, so that’s certainly a set of skills our graduates didn’t expect they’d have when they started at the University!”

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