IZZY Roughan has her mind set – she is going to be an astronaut.
For as long as she can remember, the St Joseph’s High School student has wanted to visit outer space.
Inspired by her late grandfather’s love of astronomy, she has actively pursued her goal since she was a young child.
She regularly flies planes at Scone Aero Club to build her skills as a pilot.
Her latest goal is to raise enough money to take her to an Advanced Space Academy Program at the United States Space and Rocket Centre in Huntsville, Alabama.
“Recently I was made aware of the 2017 iSTEM Space Camp Tour that enables selected Year 9-to-12 students from NSW, accompanied by teachers, to participate in the space academy program,” she said.
“By attending this iSTEM space camp, I will have a marvellous opportunity to feel what it’s really like to be an astronaut.”
Her interest in leaving Earth has grown over the years, particularly since she began studying physics and chemistry.
“It all kind of got bigger when I got to learn about it more,” she said.
“Not many people get the opportunity – it’s like one in a million that actually get to become an astronaut.
“It’s very demanding and it’s really hard to get to.
“And, by the time you become one, you’re well into your thirties or forties.
“There are a lot of people out there who want the same role, but there are only a few people that actually get it.”
Izzy has never met an astronaut before, but she is looking forward to the activities in the US program, including meeting with like-minded students.
“I think it will be interesting to share our common interests and be able to speak to each other about it,” she said.
“The whole week [we will be] doing things that astronauts would do – being flipped upside down in those really cool machines, actually putting the space suit on, going underwater in the space suit, and just learning what it’s like to be an astronaut.”
The 17-year-old often reflects on how much work is required to make her dream a reality.
But, it never changes her aspiration to one day view the planet from a distance.
She would like to thank Professor Tim Roberts from The Tom Farrell Institute, and business development manager at Umwelt Australia Julie Wicks for their assistance.
To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/izzy-roughan-istem-space-camp
To keep updated with the program, find https://www.facebook.com/SJAspacecamp/ on Facebook.