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Pembrokeshire’s link to the International Space Station



astro academyROBERT WOODMAN, a Physics teacher from Ysgol Bro Gwaun is part of the National Space Academy’s latest mission, Astro Academy: Principia.
This mission, part of the education remit of ESA’s first British astronaut, Tim Peake, will link school science with experiments conducted on board the International Space Station (ISS).
The Astro Academy: Principia kit of experiments arrived today (Friday 5th September) at the ISS for Tim to use during his 6-month mission in space.
Launched from Kazakhstan on Tuesday on board the Soyuz TMA 18-M mission, the kit was funded by the UK Space Agency and designed and built by the National Space Academy. Flight-testing for space launch was carried out by the University of Leicester’s Space Research Centre. The original launch of the kit in June ended in disaster when Space X’s Falcon 9 launcher was destroyed after a catastrophic failure of its upper stage.
‘Astro Academy: Principia‘ is an ambitious science education programme using the unique microgravity facilities on board the ISS to conduct experiments and demonstrations that are impossible on Earth. After his own launch on December 2015, Tim will film himself doing the experiments and these films will form a suite of freely available teaching films and accompanying teacher education guides that will be released in 2016.
Robert Woodman is now tasked with sharing the science of Astro Academy: Principia at a local level, through student masterclasses and teacher training for the region, available through booking with the National Space Academy (nsa@
Jeremy Curtis, Head of Education at the UK Space Agency, said:
“We’re excited that Tim will be able to carry out demonstrations in space to help teachers explain science to their students. His videos and other teaching materials developed by the National Space Academy will be available from summer next year.”
The narrative for each film will also showcase many of the successes of the UK’s own space industry – which employs over 30 000 people and generates more than £11 billion per year for the UK economy.
National Space Academy Director Anu Ojha OBE said: “Our ambitions for Astro-Academy:Principia are bold – to deepen the curriculum understanding of physics and chemistry students, to support teachers in their curriculum programme delivery and to take advantage of the unique microgravity classroom we have aboard ESA’s Columbus module of the International Space Station.”
The University of Leicester’s Space Research Centre (SRC) led the flight qualification testing of the Astro-Academy: Principia payload. The SRC team, led by Professor Mark Sims (SRC Director and also a Director of the National Space Centre), conducted the essential vibration tests that were needed to prove that the payload could survive the launch.

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Seized boats used in crimes to be auctioned off by the National Crime Agency



AN AUCTION company has been instructed on behalf of the National Crime Agency (NCA) to sell a yacht used in crime.

Seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act, ‘Sy Atrevido’ will be sold unreserved, meaning it will go to the highest bidder of the auction. Currently located in Neyland, Milford Haven, The Sy Atrevido is a 50ft yacht that was built in 1996.

Bidding will be open to the public in a timed online format. The auction will open for bidding on Thursday 26th May at 11am GMT. Registered customers will have a 24-hour window of opportunity to bid online before the auction closes at 11am GMT on Friday 27th May.

Another seized vessel will be available in the upcoming online auction. ‘Trip Trap’ is a 1977 Mirage 28 sailing boat allocated to auction on behalf of a law enforcement agency.

Berthed at Lowestoft Haven Marina, England, viewing for this vessel can be arranged strictly by appointment only on Thursday 26th May. All details can be found online at

Wilsons Auctions’ Government Contracts Manager, Mark Woods said, “We are delighted to manage more seized vessels at auction this month for our vendors. Sy Atrevido is another high-profile UK case on behalf of the NCA with reports that around £60m worth of cocaine was found on board the 50ft yacht.”

“The great range of other luxury Lots should appeal to a wide variety of bidders – new buyers are always welcome to the auction process at Wilsons Auctions. The online element of the auction is extremely convenient for bidders around the world to register and get involved.”

“We are proud to facilitate auctions on behalf of our government and law enforcement agency clients. We play an important role in realising a large quantity of assets on behalf of these clients and in recent years, these auctions have seen us responsible in returning in excess of £130 million back into the public purse,”

Viewing appointments for Trip Trap will be available to book via contacting Mark Woods on +44 (0)2890 342626 or emailing

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C17-Globemaster aircraft spotted flying low over Pembrokeshire



THE C17-GLOBEMASTER aircraft was seen over the county yesterday with many reporting it was flying very low. (May 24)

The huge plane had made the journey from the RAF Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire, and was roaring at low altitude across the county as part of a training exercise – but just off the coast of Pembrokeshire another plane ran into trouble.

RAF C-17 Globemaster over Milford Haven (Image Pete Sharpe)

The military issued an emergency after an Airbus Voyager KC3 was squawking the emergency call 7700 after refuelling over AARA 12 – an area of sea to the south of Pembrokeshire.

The second aircraft, which was travelling at an altitude of 2250 feet and a speed of 139kmh, has now returned to Brize Norton.

Operating using callsign TARTN19, the aircraft is using model code A332. 

A emergency signal 7700 indicates to all air traffic control(ATC) in the area that the aircraft is in an emergency situation.

However, it is up to the crew of the relevant aircraft to inform ATC what the emergency situation is.

Airbus Voyager KC3 on a refueling exercise (Image RAF)

RAF Brize Norton took to Facebook to say: “Our C17-Globemaster aircraft will be operating whilst engaged in essential training.

Regards the second plane, the Airbus Voyager KC3 is a large multi role refuelling tanker transport based on the civilian Airbus A330.

The Voyager is the RAF’s only air-to-air refuelling (AAR) tanker and also operates as strategic air transport.
Fuel is kept in the aircraft’s standard wing and fuselage tanks this leaves room for 291 crew and freight in the hold.

Voyager is also able to act as a passenger aircraft in much the same way as a civilian airliner. 

The flights came as personnel from across the Air Mobility Force have been supporting Exercise Swift Response in North Macedonia – the UK’s contribution to the broader NATO deterrence Exercise, Defender Europe.

Led by the C-130J Hercules force, personnel from Nos. 47 Squadron and XXIV Squadron conducted in-depth planning alongside C-17 crews from No. 99 Squadron, culminating in the first ever long-range, O2 high-altitude parachute insertion by a UK C-17. Utilising techniques developed by No. 206 Squadron Test & Evaluation crews for all Air Mobility platforms, this enabled 16 Air Assault Brigade Pathfinders to initiate the exercise – all on time, on target.

The first ever long-range, O2 high-altitude parachute insertion by a UK C-17 (Image MOD)

Remaining in country, the C-130J has been conducting multiple low level parachuting drops, concentrating forces from the Parachute Regiment into the exercise area. Finally, they have followed up with airborne delivery of heavy equipment supplies, utilising the Container Delivery System method of air despatch. This saw personnel from 47 Air Despatch Squadron, Royal Logistic Corps working alongside their US Army counterparts to rig the containers for despatch – including quad bikes, water and rations to support the troops on the ground.

A hugely joint exercise, it has been enabled by personnel from Airborne Delivery Wing Air Operations, Survival Equipment Section, UK Mobile Air Movements Squadron, the Mobile Meteorological Unit and 16 Air Assault’s Air Cell – all working round the clock to ensure the crews can prosecute their drop zone objectives and that the troops and kit land safely for the work to begin.

It should be especially noted, that despite the C-130J scheduled to go out of RAF service next year, it is still playing a decisive part in operational exercises such as these – and will continue to do so. Ex Swift Response 22 has been conducted alongside the Hercules’ continuous operational and national standby commitments, an Ex Red Flag-Alaska deployment and UK maritime aerial delivery trials – a testament to the engineers that maintain this incredible aircraft, the planners that organise it all and the crews that fly it with such passion.

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Pembroke Dock: Knife-point ATM robber Kieran Brumby jailed for five years



A MAN who robbed a woman at knifepoint has started a five-year prison sentence just one month after the attack.

Kieran Steven Brumby admitted holding a knife to the woman’s throat and demanding the £160 she was withdrawing from a cashpoint at Asda in Pembroke Dock at around 7.45pm on April 15.

Within an hour Dyfed-Powys Police were able to track down Brumby at his home in Water Street, Pembroke Dock.

Despite the incident being captured on CCTV, Brumby denied it was him during the police investigation.

However, at Swansea Crown Court on Monday, May 16, he pleaded guilty robbery, possession of a knife and possession of 0.9 grammes of cocaine.

DI Owen Thomas said: “This is a positive outcome, with Brumby arrested soon after the offence.

“He has been on remand since and is now beginning a five-year prison sentence just a month later, which I hope offers some solace and reassurance to the victim.”

The court heard how the woman had stopped to get cash on her way to meet friends in Haverfordwest when Brumby held the knife to her throat and said ‘give me the money’.

In a victim impact statement read out to the court the woman, who could feel the knife touching her throat, said that she was suffering from sleepless nights, palpitations and nightmares.

“I feel depressed and anxious and constantly feel like somebody is behind me,” she said.

“I am checking over my shoulder every five minutes. If I leave the house feelings of panic rise.”

Judge His Honour Geraint Walters handed down a five-year sentence for the robbery, with a 12-month sentence for possession of the knife and a one-month sentence for cocaine possession to run concurrently.

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