A Prague high school student succeeded with the proposal of the Cassini probe
In October 2013, the European Space Agency announced a competition for students aged 10 to 18 years. The task was to write a proposal and defense in form of essay in range up to 500 words of one of the potential targets of the Cassini mission which explores the planet Saturn and its system of rings and moons since 2004.
For the 2013 competition the following targets were chosen – Saturn and moons Dione and Iapetus. Among the 44 winning works was also one of the Czech Republic.
The competition involved more than 800 students from European countries, which participates in the mission Cassini- Huygens. An international expert commission have picked the winning designs from these proposals. Czech student Kryštof Hes from Prague has succeed in the category for the oldest students of 16 to 18 years.
His essay on moon Iapetus was focused on the creation of interesting morphological unit, which is equatorial mountain range 1,300 km long and high over 10 kilometers. Another unique characteristic of Iapetus that Kryštof Hes devoted is dichotomy of its surface reflectance. This means that one of the hemispheres is very dark and reflects only 3-5 % of the incident radiation and the other side is contrariwise very light and reflects 50-60 % of the incident radiation. For the full text of the essay see link to ESA web on the left sidebar.
There is currently no clear answer to the above questions yet and that is what Cassini spacecraft can help to find. Its mission at planet Saturn will continue at least until 2017.
Kryštof Hes has been studying the Prague high school Nad Alejí his third year. In 2011, he won the Mars Expedition competition, organized by Children's Press Agency Domino, Czech Space Office and the Leisure center Košice and has attended the simulated astronaut training in the Euro Space Center in Belgium. In 2013, he completed a course of physics CTYOnline and won a scholarship to AFCSLS CTY (Center for Talented Youth) for summer engineering courses at the University of Dublin. Currently, he gives lectures on aerospace within the program of Discovery Saturdays of the newly established Center for Talented Youth in Prague. He is also involved, for example, in Astronomical Science Olympics or project Věda z kufru (science from the case) while working as a volunteer in non-profit AFS (American Filed Service) Intercultural Programs.