UCL News


Space student

1 February 2008


daniela esa.int/esaHS/SEMR5353R8F_education_0.html" target="_self">The Value of human space flight for European citizens
  • ESA
  • UCL student Daniela Petrova has won a trip to the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. The trip is to watch the launch of the Columbus space laboratory and is first prize in the Columbus Essay Contest organised by the European Space Agency (ESA).

    The competition was open to all students of ESA member states and was on the theme of 'The value of human space flight for European citizens'. Daniela's original approach to the competition - she wrote her entry as an essay in rhyme - impressed the judges who said: "Her essay was of a very high standard and was selected for its content and relevance to the topic, but also for its originality."

    Daniela has been fascinated by space exploration since she was a child, and has kept abreast of developments in the field throughout her studies as a music student in Glasgow and latterly as a medical student at UCL: "I have always been impressed and inspired by the human launch capabilities that will soon allow us to progress from orbital to trans-planetary missions. We should encourage space exploration as discoveries there have proven to benefit mankind in many ways."

    Daniela began her medical degree at UCL in 2004. Studying medicine at UCL meant that she was able to combine her lifelong interest in space exploration with medicine by taking a module in Space Medicine, a course unique to UCL. After Daniela completes her studies she aims to contribute to the medical, space and international fields.

    In addition to her visit to the Kennedy Space Centre and her studies in space medicine, Daniela has bolstered her knowledge of space exploration by gaining an internship at ESA's Crew Medical Support Office last summer. She was also granted a Special Award by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 towards attending a seminar on policy development in Washington DC and a course on 'The Origins of Life and Life in Space' at the European Summer University.

    To read Daniela's poem in full and to find out more about ESA, use the links at the top of this article.

    Daniela at the Kennedy Space Centre