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20 April

Memories, Medals and Mars

Superstar Simmonds wins Bronze

We were absolutely thrilled to hear the news that OV Hayley Simmonds (Cr 99-06) won Bronze in the Cycling Women’s Individual Time Trial in the Commonwealth Games! Hayley represented England in the road time trial at the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast and crossed the finish line with a fantastic time of 36:22.09.  Congratulations Hayley!




Paris Marathon Success

Many congratulations to Emmie Le Marchand (Cl 03-10) who ran the Paris Marathon on Sunday 8th April in an incredible 3 hours 34 minutes. Emmie was supported by her boyfriend Ben who also ran in an impressive 3 hours 3 minutes as well as her parents and OVs Harry and Kate Iddon. Emmie has raised over £3000 for the Lord's Taverners charity in memory of Peter Iddon who taught at King’s for many years.

We have several OVs running the London Marathon this week too so we wish them all the best and will hopefully have lots of photos and details in next week’s OV news!


The journey to Mars

A few weeks ago we were delighted to see Bonnie Posselt (Cr 98-03) mentioned on the BBC News (see OV News 29/03/18). Bonnie has very kindly written us a report of her time in Oman to fill everyone in on the exciting project…

‘Are you well rested? Are you hydrated? How do you feel?’

I’ve just come back from a month spent in isolation in the deserts of Oman, simulating a mission on Mars with the Austrian Space Forum. Above are just some of the questions in the space medicine clinic that I ask each analogue astronaut (AA) before their Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA), or ‘spacewalk’ as well as taking a number of baseline observations such as blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturations and core body temperature. Each day 2 anaolgue astronauts will don the specially designed spacesuits that replicate a pressure suit, with a resistive exoskeleton. The donning process requires 2-3 suit technicians and can take up to 2 hours. Then they’re ready to ‘Go for EVA’. I’ll be sat in the operations centre at a console, closely monitoring the heart rate and traces of both AAs, keeping an eye on their vital signs. Every 30 minutes I’ll ask each AA a series of questions assessing for fatigue, thirst, pain and comfort. All of this gives me an idea how the AAs are doing, and helps me to ensure their safety. 

I’ll relay this information back to Mission Support Centre (MSC) in Austria, so that the data can be logged, allowing us to see emerging trends. I can also ask any questions I have to the medical team based there, but there will be a 20 minute delay for any reply, just like there would be on a mission to Mars. This helps to simulate the remote and isolated nature of any future mission and is a key consideration in all of our medical planning beforehand.

Once the AAs have completed the scientific experiments on their EVA, they return to the Operations centre and when they are out of the suits, I’ll see each of them in turn in the space medicine clinic again. This gives me a chance to ask them about the EVA, if they have any hot spots, aches or pains from the suit, and I’ll examine them too.

The AMADEE-18 mission has provided a valuable platform to practise space medicine procedures, with many lessons learnt that will help inform real life operations. I am proud to have been part of the multinational field crew.'

a trip down memory lane

On Friday 13th April, we were delighted to welcome OVs, John Beale (Cl 78-85), Rupert Anderton (Cl 75-85), James Lidsey (CL 80-85), Ralph Dickinson (Cl 78-85), and Stephen Brohan (K 78-85) back to King’s for a tour of School. Liz Elliott, Development Director and Sophie Borrillo-McLellan, Head of Alumni Relations, thoroughly enjoyed meeting the group, and had great fun showing everyone around school. The Annett building, which was where Chappel House were based, brought back many memories, as did a trip into their first ever Lower Fourth Classroom. The nostalgia continued in choir House with James Lidsey finding the first dormitory he slept in. The group also visited College Hall and Edgar Tower, with everyone commenting how they could not believe thirty years had passed since leaving school! As pupils at King’s they had been particularly interested in the sciences, with the majority going on to pursue careers in this field. As such, everyone was very excited to look in the Winslow Building and had fun finding their old classrooms where they had spent many hours. The group were very impressed by the new facilities and buildings here at King’s, including the Keyes building and the Michael Baker Boathouse, and they said how lovely it was to see the new sitting so comfortably amongst the old familiar areas of school that they remembered so well.