On Friday the 26th of May 2023, students from PASCAL English School Larnaka will attempt a global first, groundbreaking experiment, with the goal to reach the highest possible altitudes in space with their smart robot called E.L.I.A.S.
E.L.I.A.S., whose acronym stands for Exploration, Lifelong learning, Innovation, Advancement and Space, is the first-ever robot that aims to achieve a successful spaceflight as part of Cyprus Space Week Outreach Program for 2023.
This experiment is incredibly challenging. It requires a lot of planning, preparation and technical expertise to ensure that E.L.I.A.S. can withstand the extreme conditions of the stratosphere, including low pressure, low temperatures, and high radiation levels. The PASCAL English School Larnaka team must also ensure that the robot can communicate with the ground station located at the PASCAL Space Center in Larnaka and collect data successfully. Despite the challenges, both students and teachers are determined to push the boundaries of what is possible and make history with this experiment. Students and teachers are fully aware of the risks involved and understand that there are many factors that could change the initial plans. However, they are all highly determined to take on this challenge and see it through to the end, even if it means that they may not achieve their ultimate goal.
Mr. Elpidoforos Anastasiou, PASCAL Space Center Manager, has stated that ‘’In any case, the experiment is an opportunity for everyone to learn and grow, to push the boundaries of what is possible, and to inspire others to pursue their dreams and passions.’’
With over 85 primary schools participating at Cyprus Space Week Outreach Program, over 2,500 students will be watching the E.L.I.A.S. project live from their classes. In addition, all 85 schools are also sending their own flower seeds to the stratosphere as part of the “Plants to Space Program” which combines STEAM education and space exploration.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that all 2,500 students with their teachers have visited the PASCAL Space Center in Larnaka for training and workshops on how to design their experiments but also for meeting E.L.I.A.S. robot. The event is organized by the “Cyprus Space Foundation” and is supported by the Department of Meteorology, Center of Excellence “Eratosthenes,” and the Excelsior teaming project.