‘Over the moon’ Alex wins £4,000 space agency award

PUBLISHED: 07:01 23 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:33 17 August 2020

Satellites should be used to prevent agricultural fires from polluting cities in countries like Thailand and India, according to an award-winning teenager from Colyton..

This idea won Alex Hayman, 17, the UK Space Agency's SatelLife competition for young people who have their own thoughts on how to improve life on Earth.

Alex will now go on to pitch the idea to a panel of industry experts at the Harwell Space Cluster, in Oxfordshire, next month.

Alex said: "I've always been concerned with air pollution and climate change.

"Having been to air polluted cities, I know how bad it can be not being able to breathe fresh air when outside.

"That's why I wanted to do something about it.

"I was over the moon when I won - I just could not believe it.

"It was one of the best feelings of my life knowing that I have won the prize money and that my idea was one of the best ones.

"Currently, I'm planning on going into the technology field as my career but doing the competition has definitely made me more interested in space.

"If the opportunity arises where I can handle the computer side of space then I will certainly take it."

Now in its third year, the competition aims to encourage 11 to 22 year olds to think about how satellites impact everyday lives and learn more about the careers available in the sector.

Alex has become the second Devon youngster to win the award after Dylan Todd, from Newton Abbot, won last year with an idea to measure the use of standard lights and more environmentally-friendly LED lights.

Emily Gravestock, head of applications at the UK Space Agency, said: "The quality of entries this year was very high.

"We were particularly pleased to see such a wide variety of satellite applications being used.

"These young people clearly recognised the diversity of areas that satellites impact on our day to day lives

"We were impressed by Alex's inspiration and knowledge, drawing on his own experience from travelling, and I look forward to seeing how he develops his idea in the future."

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