Chepstow alum has ‘out of this world’ encounter with Tim Peake

CHEPSTOW man Ben Pisacane was one of a pair of students chosen to meet and work with British astronaut Tim Peake as part of his university’s collaboration with Spaceport Cornwall.

Ben Pisacane, who attended Wyedean School, near Chepstow, before continuing his film studies at Falmouth University’s School of Film and Television, has been asked to join the Spaceport broadcast team for a UK-wide special “Countdown 2 Launch”, which was commissioned by Spaceport for school audiences.

The show will highlight the UK’s first rocket launch which will take place this month and provide a deep dive into the UK’s burgeoning space sector.

Schools and individuals can sign up to express their interest in watching the show and it is hoped the film will provide eye-opening insight into career opportunities in STEM for young people across the UK.

Ben was chosen by Spaceport because he produced a documentary about his university’s involvement in the launch through the creation of an interactive VR experience.

Produced by Immersive Business Lab in Falmouth, the VR experience was recently used at the public Spaceport facility outside the Natural Science Museum in London and visited by Richard Branson.

Wales’ first satellite, The ForgeStar-0 (designed and built by Cardiff startup Space Forge) is also set to launch via Virgin Orbit’s Start Me Up mission in November.

Film student Ben, from Chepstow, said: ‘I was involved in the filming of a promotional documentary about the virtual reality ‘space launch’ experience which was done with Immersive Business Lab to simulate the upcoming launch I was then asked by Spaceport Cornwall to help with filming at the Natural Science Museum, where we filmed an interview with British astronaut Tim Peake.

“Tim is a fascinating, humble man – a real life astronaut! It was also fun to visit Spaceport and find out what impact the launch is expected to have on the UK.

“I’ve met a lot of people in the film and space industries and I hope I now have a foot in the door for future career opportunities. I’m very grateful for this opportunity, it’s definitely something I won’t forget and I’m glad I played a small part in this massive undertaking.

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