From Outer Space to Scotland: Astronaut Brings Space to Life in Lockdown


29th April 2020

A real-life NASA astronaut, who logged almost 900 hours in space, is making a special, virtual visit to families ‘home schooling’ during lockdown.

Geoscientist and explorer Jim Reilly, who completed three space shuttle missions and five spacewalks during his 13 year career, has sent a video all the way from his home in Virginia for Dundee Science Centre’s Home Learning Programme, giving a remarkable insight into his extensive career in space travel.

The video forms part of ‘Space Week’, this week’s offering from the Science Centre’s programme which offers weekly themed activities for children to complete independently, with simple instructions, in their own time. Free of charge, the programme is packed with fun, interactive, science activities, with videos, worksheets, challenges and weekly competitions. Children can complete tasks in their own time and dip in and out of different weeks and topics.

Wednesday’s ‘Astronaut Day’ will see Jim, now Director of the United States Geological Survey, take children and their families on a journey through space with stories, photos and videos of his three missions. His 30 minute video covers everything from training for life in space to take-off, an astronaut’s diet and the future of space travel.

Thursday will focus on the International Space Station, followed by Friday fun building your own spaceship, launching a rocket and invading an alien planet! Space Week will return with a different set of activities in June.

Carlene Cura, Development and Fundraising Advisor, Dundee Science Centre said, “Since launching the Home Learning Programme, we’ve brought a huge range of activities and topics into homes all over Scotland and further afield. Space Week promises to be yet another popular week, especially welcoming a real-life astronaut into the mix.

“We’re absolutely delighted to see so many children, families and even teachers embracing the programme which is adding another dimension to home schooling and keeping kids engaged while school’s out. We’ve got lots more in store in the weeks ahead, with a number of new partners also getting involved to share their exciting activities and look forward to welcoming more children and partners on board in the weeks ahead!”

To support the Home Learning Programme like Jim Reilly, please email Carlene at

To sign up for the weekly Home Learning Newsletter, please visit 

Dundee Science Centre

Dundee Science Centre is a charity and lifelong learning resource for the community.

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