Auckland Girl Chosen to Fly Into Space
“18-year-old Auckland girl Alexia Hilbertidou has been chosen by space agency NASA to ride on-board their 747 jumbo jet aircraft during a special overnight mission,” writes Fiona Connor in an article for The Daily Mail. In one 10-hour flight she will travel “at -70C and zero per cent humidity while measuring Stardust and taking in the breath-taking displays of the atmosphere, which in previous excursions has included the Aurora Australis”.
“I was ecstatic and over the moon to be picked,” she told Daily Mail Australia.
“NASA’s SOFIA is the world’s largest flying observatory based out of California and the Boeing 747SP jetliner is modified to carry one of the most powerful telescopes in the world with a 100-inch diameter,” writes Connor.
“The flight will take approximately 10 hours while travelling at 45,000 ft towards Antarctica over the Southern Ocean. At maximum altitude, the rear of the airplane opens to allow for scientific observations,” as reported in the article.
“As the founder of GirlBoss New Zealand, an organisation built to encourage females to embrace male-dominated fields, Hilbertidou was selected by the United States Ambassador-Designate Scott Brown in part because of the advocacy work she does in the scientific sphere.” Hilbertidou is the youngest person ever to be selected.
She was named the most influential New Zealand woman under 25 at the Westpac Women of Influence Awards in 2016.
Article Source: Daily Mail, Fiona Connor, July 7, 2017
Image Source: Youtube