Abu Dhabi students set a new world record for astronauts | Job Binary


Enterprising students at an Abu Dhabi school have entered the record books by assembling the world’s largest space crew.

Repton Abu Dhabi has boldly gone where no one has gone before, setting a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as astronauts.

A total of 940 young students between the ages of 7 and 12 exchanged their uniforms for homemade spacesuits decorated with the insignia of their home country. The previous record was 716, set by Northern Ireland earlier this year.

The intrepid children spent hours creating their costumes, their favorite colors and making their personalized helmets.

The school made a record attempt to celebrate the UAE’s rapid progress in the global space race, with Sultan Al Neyad’s six-month mission to the International Space Station next on the horizon in 2023.

No limits to ambition

Hundreds of students took part in the record-breaking event at Repton Abu Dhabi's Fry campus on Reem Island.  Khushnum Bhandari / National

“We are very excited to have achieved the world record and it is a unique opportunity,” said Steve Lupton, principal of Repton Abu Dhabi.

“The students and our entire Repton community are very proud and excited about the Guinness World Record holders.

“I hope this boosts their aspirations and belief in what they can achieve in the future.

“As a society, I believe we are counting on this generation of students to make significant advances in science and technology for the benefit of humanity and the environment, and we need to believe they can achieve anything they put their minds to.”

Breaking the record and teaching children about space was in line with the school’s focus on innovation and science and technology, he said.

“We always try to inspire our students, promote and encourage them and set ambitious goals for themselves.

“For us, it’s also about building role models, especially for our Emirati population, as around 20 percent of our students are Emiratis.”

Seeing space

Riddhi Hoonjan, 9, a fifth-year student at the school, said her dream was to become an astronaut one day.

He said he was inspired to dream big by the late Kalpana Chawla, who was the first woman of Indian origin to go into space in 1997.

The Indian student said he enjoyed making his costume.

“I am most excited about the work of an astronaut. She (Kalpana Chawla) was from India and I think she was so brave to go into space,” said Riddhi.

Scottish student Sebastian Sagar, 10, said he drew on the suit using buttons and numbers on a keyboard.

“I think it’s fun and it makes me feel really special that I’ve managed to be a part of this world record,” Sebastian said.

“My family helped me sew some pieces and I drew some other pieces.

“I have a little badge on my suit with my name on it and also my country’s flag.”

Harvey Scott-Lupton, a year four student from Australia, said he was sure he had included his lucky number nine in the suit.

“Hazza Al Mansouri is my favorite astronaut,” he said.

The student said he enjoyed the record and the design of his costume.

“I made my suit special by adding three buttons to my helmet, one red, one orange and one green,” he said.

The UAE’s growing space sector – in pictures

Updated: October 25, 2022 at 10:48 am



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