Hello Team Leaders,

Thank you so much for your phenomenal response to the start of the Astro Science Challenge: LIVE! We’ve been blown away to see how many of you have signed up and gotten stuck in on the first Missions. There’s lots of exciting things to come this week, including a live interview in The Space Shed with a real life astronaut - read on for all the details!


Tomorrow, we’ll be officially launching Mission 1, learning more about the amazing world of astronomy, and getting a chance to earn the Spaceship Earth Badge. This Mission was produced with our friends at Royal Observatory Greenwich.

For our English-focussed task, your Cadets will learn about our patron Tim Peake and his time on the International Space Station. For Maths, they can make calculations about space travel. And for Science, they can research key facts about the Solar System.

Getting started on the Missions can feel a little overwhelming, so to ensure smooth sailing for Team Leaders and Cadets, we recommend a two-stage launch plan

Stage 1: Mission Prep
(before you start working with your Cadets) 

  • Log into Team Leader Admin and head to the Missions tab
  • Watch the Mission Briefing video for Spaceship Earth
  • Look over the 3 Tasks for this Mission
  • Download and read through the Activity Plans and additional Resources

    Remember: as Team Leader, you’re in control of your Cadet’s experience. We leave awarding the Badges to you because you know your Cadet and their ability the best. We trust that you’ll award Badges when they’ve reached their full potential, whatever that may be. If you want to simplify some of the activities (or develop them further) to make sure your Cadet(s) understand and get the most out of the Mission, that’s OK! Don’t forget to have fun!  

Stage 2: Cadet Onboarding
Once you feel comfortable with the Mission materials, watch the Mission Briefing video with your Cadet(s), and then get to work on the Tasks - you might want to decide on these beforehand, or you can discuss with your Cadet(s) which ones they’d like to do.

When you’ve completed the chosen Tasks, upload their work to the app (make sure your Cadet is signed into the app using their own username and password) and click the ‘Claim Badge’ button. As Team Leader, you’ll then receive an email notifying you of a submission and you’ll be prompted to review the work in Team Leader Admin and award the appropriate Badge. There’s also the option to leave feedback for your Cadet.

As we said in our last email, go at whatever pace feels best for you; don’t stress about it; don’t worry about “getting it wrong”. Use the app however you and your children get the most enjoyment from it. If you’re only interested in the Science and English tasks, just do those - focus on what your team enjoys, rather than trying to complete every single activity.


We hope you enjoyed our first two Mission Broadcasts - if you haven’t seen them yet, they’re still available to watch on our YouTube channel. This week, we’ve got two amazing guests joining us in The Space Shed...
Wednesday, 10am (BST) - Liz Avery
Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomer

Friday, 2pm (BST)  Samantha Cristoforetti
European Space Agency astronaut

What would you like us to ask Liz and Samantha? What does an astronomer actually do all day - or do they work at night? What’s the most exciting thing about being in space? Send us your questions via email or to @unspaceagency, and we’ll do our best to answer as many as possible.

As well as your questions, we want to hear your lockdown survival tips, or if you’ve got a birthday shout-out you’d like Jon and Mini Jon to give on the show. As we’re an *International* Space Agency, we’d also love to know where in the world our Cadets are, so let us know which country you’re completing your astronaut training in.

A note from UNSA's Space M.O.M. (Mission Operations Manager) Sarah, aka our Legal Eagle:

Because of the highly secure space systems we use here at UNSA, we don’t automatically get to see the work you upload to the app. It makes us very happy to see the drawings, videos, stories and models your cadets have produced though, so if you’ve got something you’d like to share with us, please do send it in - either over email ( or tagging us @unspaceagency on social media. 

We'd love to share your work with our other Cadets and Team Leaders too, so please note that if you send anything over to us via email or on social media, we'll be sharing it on a variety of public platforms and we'll hold on to it indefinitely for possible use in future promotional materials, advocacy purposes and generally to remind ourselves of how much fun we all had! If you'd prefer for us not to do this or you'd like us to avoid any mention of you/your child by name, please let us know. You can contact us any time to retract this permission.

Good luck and enjoy Mission 1!

Javairya Khan
UNSA Mission and Communications Officer

P.S. If you'd like to hear more about astronomy, check out Jon's interview with astrophysicist and astronomer Jen Gupta on our podcast, Live From The Space Shed. Listen on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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