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Seven-year-old space fan from Leicester is joining forces with Nasa


Elizabeth Norman aka ‘Astro Liz’ with a copy of her sticker that is being sent to the moon (Credits: Adam Hughes / SWNS)

A seven-year-old astronaut in training will become the first child ever to send something to the moon after impressing the world’s leading space pioneers.

Elizabeth Norman is obsessed with space and staged the launch of a massive home-made Vulcan Centaur rocket from her garden earlier this year.

Her enormous enthusiasm for all things lunar captured the attention of US experts currently prepping the real Vulcan Centaur for the first moon landing in nearly 50 years.

United Launch Alliance (ULA) has a miniscule space left on an upcoming mission to send the first ever private pod to land on the lunar surface.

It can command a charge of $1,200,000 per kg.

But they’ve offered to take something belonging to ‘Astro Liz’ – and now a sticker carrying the name of her space blog will be part of the first ever lunar ‘time capsule’.

Her family from Leicester have even been invited to wave it goodbye on launch day in Florida, USA, at the end of 2021.

The schoolgirl is one of a handful of people in the world to include a personal item on the first ever mission of its kind.

And she’s already doing her own astronaut’s physical training routine to prepare for a future in space, to one day go visit the moon – and her sticker – in person.

Elizabeth will become the first child in the world to send something to the moon after impressing the world’s leading space pioneers from her back garden. (Credits: Adam Hughes / SWNS)

Elizabeth said: ‘I can’t wait to see a video of the capsule with my sticker on the moon taken by the lunar lander.

‘Astrobotic is making my space dreams come true and I’m so excited to watch the launch – my friends are all excited for me.

‘I love science and space because there is so much to learn and I love exploring and doing experiments.

‘My goals for the future are to walk on the moon and to explore the highest mountain on Mars.

‘I also hope I can fly on the Vulcan Centaur one day for myself – I already know what space snacks I want to bring!’

Proud mum Jennifer Norman, 34, said: ‘None of us could believe it when we found out she would have the opportunity to make her mark on the Moon at just seven years old.

‘For her to be included in such a historic moment is incredible and has shown anything is possible – her confidence and ambition have grown so much since she found out.

‘As parents, we are so inspired by Elizabeth’s dedication and passion and we truly believe she will go to space one day – at just seven years old, she is already taking real steps to achieve that dream.

‘But part of what makes her so incredible is she doesn’t realise just how special this all is – not only is it a huge step towards her dream but it’s also a historic moment for space travel and it’s so exciting that she can be a part of it.’

Elizabeth’s passion for space took off after watching coverage of Nasa’s Perseverance Rover being sent to Mars in July 2020.

She threw herself into learning all about space – including working on several remote Nasa projects.

With the help of Jennifer and dad Steve Norman, 49, she’s always got multiple science experiments on the go.

Elizabeth staged the launch of a massive home-made Vulcan Centaur rocket from her garden earlier this year. (Credits: Adam Hughes / SWNS)

She set up a science-themed YouTube channel in July last year, where she uploads educational videos.

But things really kicked off for the budding astronaut after she decided to make a model of the ULA’s Vulcan Centaur rocket, which is due to be launched for the Moon later this year, out of cardboard.

And just like a real space launch, she did daily Twitter updates ahead of launch day on January 5.

Her prep caught the eye of Tory Bruno, the CEO of ULA, and lunar lander manufacturer Astrobotic.

He watched the launch of her seven-foot cardboard version of the rocket he’s currently prepping for launch – as it sailed 30ft into the air, impressing Elizabeth’s neighbours.

So impressed, he reached out and asked if she could be part of the real launch of Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander on board ULA’s Vulcan Centaur when it takes off later this year.

As part of the mission, space technology company Astrobotic is offering people and businesses the chance to buy space on the lander – known as a lunar payload.

Nasa is paying $79.5 million for 14 slots on the mission.

Private individuals can buy a much smaller space in the first ever lunar ‘time capsule’ which will remain on the moon.

Tony was so impressed by Elizabeth’s take off he gifted her with a ‘payload’ spot on the lander.

She’s going to send a sticker featuring her blog’s logo and name, plus her contact details, to the moon – where it will remain for centuries to come.

Jennifer said: ‘We’re incredibly grateful to Astrobotic and ULA for believing in Elizabeth and her dream as much as we do.

‘None of us, including her, could ever have imagined that her dream would take off so rapidly.

‘We can’t even put it into words because it’s so surreal that it’s actually happening.

‘To think my seven year old daughter could be going to America to watch a rocket carrying her sticker as it launches!’

The proud mum says the parents have every faith that Elizabeth will end up on the moon, and even Mars, one day herself.

She has already started her astronaut physical training which prepares astronauts for their space missions, including yoga routines to improve strength and flexibility.

Her limitless knowledge and enormous enthusiasm for all things lunar captured the attention of US experts currently prepping the real Vulcan Centaur for the first moon landing in nearly 50 years. (Credits: Adam Hughes / SWNS)

She has already built a bionic arm to learn about robotics, and has just completed a five-week Nasa programme where she designed and carried out her own virtual mission to Mars.

The proud mum, full-time carer to Elizabeth’s brother, William, eight, said: ‘Elizabeth’s first response was to run to her brother and tell him her exciting news.

‘She is incredible and we are inspired by her dedication as well as her kindness at such a young age.

“For her, every moment of every day is filled with space and she has such a thirst for knowledge.

‘It is the dream of so many young people to go into space but she is taking real steps to go there and with this level of dedication, anything is possible.

‘Not only that but the way she educates other young people through her YouTube videos means she will inspire the future generation of astronauts – if I were a child with an interest in space, I’d definitely be following her journey.

‘The sky isn’t even the limit for Elizabeth now.’


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