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Spaceward Bound Expedition: Australia 2011

photo of Harry Steel

Harry Steel
Science & Engineering Student
University of Sydney

I have always been interested in science, and in particular space-related areas. My first few years were spent in Coonabarabran, the astronomy capital of Australia, where my father was working. Apparently I could distinguish between an optical telescope and a radio telescope at the age of two.

As an undergraduate student at the University of Sydney, science is an integral part of my day-to-day life and studies. I live just five meters from the university's physics department, so I am becoming quite a regular there. I am currently undertaking a project on the charging of dust particles in complex plasmas, a phenomenon found throughout the solar system, such as in the rings of Saturn.

Aside from science I also study Mechanical (Space) Engineering, which provides a very hands-on approach to planetary exploration. We will be doing projects such as planning our own interplanetary missions, and even building our own satellites, which might be launched if we are successful.

In the more distant future, as graduate student I want to continue my studies in these areas, and ideally work on missions to moons and planets throughout the solar system. Who knows? In this field not even the sky is the limit!

I hope Spaceward Bound Australia will be a chance for me to further my knowledge as to what being a planetary scientist here on Earth might be like. Through this experience I hope to be able to inspire fellow and future students to head towards careers in the any of the diverse space-related fields.


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Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: June 2011