Q Pootle 5 to launch a UK-wide Primary school competition!


Space is a fun place to be!

That’s Q Pootle 5’s motto. So to encourage younger children to have an interest in space, lovable alien Q Pootle 5 and his creator, award-winning children’s author and illustrator, Nick Butterworth have partnered with World Space Week UK to help celebrate World Space Week 2016.

Q Pootle 5 and his friends, Oopsy, Eddi, Stella, Ray, Groobie, Bud-D and Planet Dave, love to have fun in Space, finding adventure and tackling the everyday problems of the final frontier!

To celebrate World Space Week we are inviting you to join in the fun as we launch a national competition offering you the chance to win a very special prize for your school.

WIN a visit from Q Pootle 5 and Nick Butterworth!

During the visit the winner and their classmates will get the chance to meet Q Pootle 5 and hear from Nick as he discusses the adventures of the friendly little alien and his pals.

The competition will launch on Tuesday 4 October to kickstart WSW2016 and to enter all you will need to do it download and complete the exclusive competition activity sheet which will be available from a dedicated Q Pootle 5 webpage on the WSWUK website or via STEMNET in September.

From the Q Pootle 5 webpage your pupils and little ones will also have access to further Q Pootle 5 content and you will be able to watch some of Nick’s favourite episodes.

Contact: worldspaceweek@bis-space.com for more information

Don’t forget to check back in September to download your competition activity sheet. You can also check out the Q Pootle 5 Facebook page where exclusive World Space Week themed content will appear in the run-up to the launch.



Transcript of MiniCASSiE the First – AWOL in Anglesey log

The Diary of Mini CASSiE 1st.
Oct 2014:

A great couple of days in Braunston having a look round and exploring the local shops, it was time for me to set of in my rocket to Anglesey, as North West Astronomy Show was the following weekend, so got prepared for the 3 day journey.
Also got a huge box of outreach items to hand out at the weekend including solar glasses kindly donated by the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project, stickers and dvds provided by Hubble and ESO, and NASA pins for my Mum and patches for Tracey and Sonia from Astronomy for Fun who I was going to help over the weekend.
Everything was ready and had a early watercress meal then into the rocket and off I go…..

All good and well on track, flying over the countryside and I can see the coast from here.
Making good time as only 2 days and can see the outline of Anglesey, so better prepare for landing.
Landing a success and just got to wait for the ground crew to collect me and transport all the outreach cargo to the Farm……..

I see them, all loaded onto the transport and off we go………wait a minute… this does not look like a farm, it’s a big house????

And why has it gone dark????

All is quiet and I hear the heavy rain on the roof, thankfully wherever I am it is dry.
Must be a quarantine chamber……

The next day I awoke to more heavy rain on the roof of the dark building, now this is not on, lets go and have a look outside, so slowly opened the door to the rocket I step outside.

‘Hello’ I shout, but no reply, it seems to be a big room with huge doors at one end, this is odd.

Suddenly I hear foot steps on the gravel path outside……….they maybe coming to get me….

‘IN HERE’ I shout, but the footsteps fade away,  food…..I need food……luckily this building is not that watertight, as there is a new looking bucket on the floor that is catching the rain as it falls through the roof, which is cool and refreshing, so out with the first day supplies.  Good job the ration pack is a month, as no idea how long I am going to be in here.

The days pass, and nobody comes.  I find a second bucket and a small window, which is enough light to get a tasty crop of watercress growing, so food and water is sorted out, so now the plan is to escape.

There seems to be a lot of movement outside, so climb up to the watercress factory bench I made from the DVDs, and look outside, there is a big van pulling up…..

‘IN HERE, OVER HERE, HELP’ I shout, but the driver walks round the back of the big house looks at the ground then gets back in the van and drives away.

This is how I pass my time now, listening for movement outside and then climbing up the stack of dvd’s and shouting out the window…

Somebody must see me or hear me, as I am now a couple of weeks late for the show, and upset that I have let them down…

After the 6 months I spent in a field waiting to be rescued, a couple of weeks is not so bad, hope they find me soon.

Week 7……..I hope somebody comes soon, as the nights are getting cooler and with no heating in here I think hibernation may be in order, as with the noise a couple of weeks ago I presume that was bonfire night, so must be getting near December.

I hear a noise, what is that noise…….?????

Footsteps getting closer and closer, there at the huge door, best pack all the outreach items back in the cargo box, quickly, quickly….nearly done, I hear voices outside…

‘IN HERE, HELP…..H E L P…..’

I hear a key in the door, could this be it?

YES….. The rescue team have arrived headed by Martin, who picks up my survival pod and outreach crate and off we go, I am free and safe at last, and not as long as the last time I had to over winter under a hedge in a field in thick deep snow.

Soon I am warming by the fire in the Farm house, and soon be ready to start a new adventure.

Hopefully without getting kidnapped next time….’

MiniCASSiE last known movements in Braunston

After a traumatic 6 months lost in a field in Nottinghamshire last year, MiniCASSiE the 1st decided to undertake another mission to the North West Astronomy Festival. Her first stop was Braunston.

Unfortunately, MiniCASSiE I HAS GONE MISSING AGAIN. but this time, after being delivered to the wrong address, she is being held captive in a Manor house.


The rescue mission is now into its second week, with no sign of a ransom and hope of getting her back is dwindling!


So to raise moral, here are her last known movements:

MiniCASSiE I: World Space Week Adventure Diary

MiniCASSiE the 1st arrives in Braunston, Northamptonshire and heads to the canal to inspect the engineering.

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After looking at the engineering on the lock gates, I spied a shop that looked interesting,, Whalfhouse Narrowboats. I wonder what they have. The sign says Braunston Chandlers…I went inside to explore.

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I’m not sure what all the boat bits are but sure they could be converted to space travel.

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Better help with the locks whilst I am still here. These are a bit heavy to push.

Better help with the locks whilst I am still here. These are a bit heavy to push.


Look who has come to say hello, it’s Space Chicken Sam, Camilla’s long lost UK cousin.
Sam has a special white light Solar Scope to show me, so we can look at the Sun in safety.

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I have found the Sun, it is over there shining on the Church in Braunston.


Whilst waiting for the clouds to move out the way, I have found a watercress patch, so time for lunch.

Whilst waiting for the clouds to move out the way, I have found a watercress patch, so time for lunch.

Who is this that has flown in to see me? It’s Batty Bat, who normally only comes out at night, but made an exception to come and say hello, and get a selfie with me.

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Me and Batty Bat

Better check in to see what my Mum has been up to…

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Looking at Mum’s blog.

October 2nd
Going to be a busy day getting the Atomic Rocket ready for the journey to Anglesey, can’t wait as hoping to go to North West Astro Fest next weekend. But first things first, breakfast….in the watercress bed..

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My rocket nearly ready for tomorrows launch to the NW Astro Fest!

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Oh yes, and I got a Nasa Night Sky Network Star badge for Outreach. (Don’t worry Mum, got you one as well!)

My new badge!

My new badge!

Quick bite to eat then on with the day.
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After a bit of Solar photography, it’s now time to relax and watch the Sunset…


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As the Sun sets on another busy day, time to find the Moon.



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I have the Moon on my nose! …..:)


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The Sunset is still happening behind me. 🙂 But now the special Solar filter can be removed from the scope and we can look at the Moon.


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I hear a noise, what can it be?

What a surprise! It’s Space Chicken Sam, Bailey Bat and Batty Bat come to look at the Moon with me on my last night in Braunston.

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October 3rd
Hello, I found Richard on the bridge, going to sneak in his panorama..


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Hehehe, I had to run really fast to get in 4 times…

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Looking good for a bit of Solar observing.

The Sun is out today so lets see if we can get a look today on my last day in Braunston.

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Looking good for a bit of Solar observing.


Bye Bye Braunston and all my new friends, wish me luck…Anglesey here I come…


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Here are some of the images I took through the scope: (more coming soon)
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My World Space Week 2014

What a phenomenal week it has been! I have attended several events around the country and MiniCASSiE the First has, once again got lost… well, not lost exactly … she is being held captive at a Manor House after being delivered to the wrong address!

Anyway, Myself and MiniCASSiE the Second had great fun with Vix Southgate and all her travels. I will write some more when I have a bit more time. Here are some Pictures of our week! 🙂


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TechnopopLondon is host to over 30 World Space Week UK events

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Technopop Ltd has dedicated its entire first week to celebrating World Space Week in London, with over 30 space-related events for you to experience!

The best news is: I AM GOING TO JOIN IN!!

I will be there on the 7th and 8th of October to help launch their events and I hope to talk to many of you about my adventures.

For more TechnopopLondon event information please go to: www.technopop.co.uk

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1 week to go! World Space Week

As we near the start of an exciting World Space Week for 2014, the UK is hosting over 80 events across the country.

The British Interplanetary Society, who is the UK National Coordinator has been working tirelessly to ensure that WSW2014 is the best year so far, for events and raising awareness of the annual events.

The British interplanetary Society has developed a UK-focused World Space Week website (which is continuously improving and benefits from feedback and ideas for content, so they can make it an even better resource for 2015)

Please Take a look at what WSW_UK is doing: www.bis-space.com/wsw


Every year between 4-10 October ANYONE can organise and celebrate the United Nations declared World Space Week to help inspire and educate EVERYONE to the benefits of science and technology!

The full list of global events can be found at: www.worldspaceweek.org/events

Technopop Ltd has dedicated its entire first week to celebrating World Space Week in London, with over 30 space-related events for you to experience!

For more TechnopopLondon information: www.technopop.co.uk

My ‘Beat Felix!’ mission diary – Chasing Gagarin


BF Chase1As we drove South the team excitedly relayed the latest altitude and position of Gagarin around the car. Matt had was constantly adjusting the radio, trying to get the best fix on Gagarin’s signal as it’s frequency changed due to the temperature dropping as it soared through the atmosphere and ever upwards towards the black, cold heights of the Stratosphere.

We were just 16 miles away from Cirencester when at 35,118m (21.8 miles) the balloon burst and Gagarin began its descent.

The connection to the internet was patchy so the team decided to stop in Cirencester, take a few minutes to get a fix on Gagarin’s predicted landing spot and get some more refreshments out of the boot of the car.

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BF chase Burst

Within just fifteen minutes of stopping we were on the move again. Gagarin was drifting down towards Swindon and we had a lot of distance to cover in that time.



Traffic favoured us and as Gagarin drifted in to land in a leafy suburb of Swindon we were just reaching the outskirts. The team pulled up briefly to check the smartphone tracker onboard Gagarin (this is a very clever system; you send a text to the smartphone in the probe and if it has reception it will send you a text back with its exact GPS location marked on a satellite photo!).

BF chase fields BF chase house

BF chase landsiteThe satellite map showed Gagarin’s position on the pavement of a small street less than 750m away. Every minute counted as the team didn’t want to lose the payload. We spotted the bright parachute before we had reached Gagarin’s position. It was sitting on the verge outside a house. As it was right next to the pavement we could just scoop it up.


BF caught on cameraBy checking the video footage we could tell we had arrived just twenty four minutes after Gagarin landed. The team were ecstatic that their first flight had been such a success and eagerly cut the seals and opened the payload up to get at the video camera. They then cut the remnants of the balloon free from the parachute lines and packed everything up in the back of the chase vehicle.

Throughout the launch the Horizon twitter feed had been very busy and the pupils were over the moon when they received congratulations on twitter from the European Space Agency and the organisers of World Space Week UK!

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When we got back home we could finally look through the video footage and it was amazing! Being on the chase with the team was so much fun but I slept for a full twelve hours afterwards, high altitude adventures are exhausting for a little hedgehog!