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Challenger Learning Center at Paducah Celebrates NASAs First Test Launch of Orion Spacecraft with Local Essay Contest Winner

Katie Caruthers, a Lone Oak Middle School seventh grader, recently won the Challenger Learning Center at Paducahs (CLC) essay contest to celebrate the first test mission flight of NASAs Orion spacecraft December 4.

To celebrate this milestone, the CLC hosted an essay contest for fourth-eighth graders in western Kentucky and southern Illinois.

Students were asked to write about being selected to ride aboard the Orion spacecraft as the first astronaut to set foot on Mars in the year 2035. Caruthers won the contest with her essay Every Girls Dream: The First Astronaut on Mars.

As her prize, Caruthers seventh grade science class will visit the CLC on December 4 from 9 a.m.1:30 p.m. Caruthers and her classmates will participate in various Orion activities and watch the spacecraft splashdown live with CLC crew in the morning, following by a simulated Voyage to Mars mission beginning at 11:30 a.m.

In the future, Orion will launch on NASAs new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System. More powerful than any rocket ever built, SLS will be capable of sending humans to deep space destinations such as an asteroid and eventually Mars.

The CLC is located on the campus of West Kentucky Community and Technical College.

The media is encouraged to attend.