Henry Wu has a dream for Australia to one day lead its own space industry. In order to accomplish his dream, Henry is on a mission to promote space exploration to young Australians.
Recently, Crimson spoke with Henry to discuss his inspirations, his goals and how he came to love the cosmos.
What sparked your interest in space?
Unfortunately, I wasn’t a space fanatic until I was in Year 8. The movie ‘Apollo 13’ really got me interested in space. In 2015 I attended the Huntsville Alabama Space Camp in the US. After visiting NASA’s headquarters and seeing the Space Shuttle, I became really passionate about it.
What made you want to start the Australian Youth Space Society (AYSS) and the Space Generation Project?
This project really came into mind late last year after attending the Space Camp. I became really interested seeing all the new initiatives NASA was leading … it was a little heartbreaking to see that Australia hasn't got its own space program that conducts domestic launches. From all the Australian people I met at Space Camp, I could see there was a lot of interest. I thought, ‘Why don’t I try and do something about this?’ So I created the Australian Youth Space Society and the Space Generation Project.
How does the Australian Youth Space Society impact the Australian space industry?
The Australian space industry is just starting to grow. By establishing this project, I hope that I will be able to help others realise their interest in space, provide educational opportunities such as workshops, lectures and competitions for these people and help expand Australia’s space industry in the future.
What are some of the activities you are doing with the Space Generation Project?
It has been a great learning experience coming up with ideas to keep students interested and finding ways to attract more students. So far, we've been able to hold lunchtime talks where senior students, such as myself, speak on specific space topics. It has also been fun learning how model rockets are created.
What would you like to do in the future with your Space Generation Project?
I plan to organise ‘Space Day’ for students, where I will invite guest speakers to talk about interesting space topics and hold various workshops. I also hope to set up an academic space competition for high school students. But most importantly I want to expand the project to neighbouring schools and invite these schools to be part of AYSS. I want to create a massive network and help them promote space in their own schools.
How are you promoting the space project across the community?
At the moment, I have an Instagram and Twitter account called ‘Australian Youth Space Society, (@ausyouthspace). Over the last 8-9 months, I’ve put in a lot of dedication to this Instagram account, and have gained 11.7k followers, up to now. My followers make me really happy because I know that these people all share the same passion and love for space with me. My Instagram account has also caught the attention of major influences in the space industry such as the Kennedy Space Center, Space.com, Melbourne Space Program, Singapore Space and Technology Association and the International Space University. I also hope to start up a Facebook page and a website so I can invite schools to be part of the AYSS
Looking to the future, what is your dream job?
It would definitely be awesome to become an astronaut or work at NASA, that would be a dream and it’s the reason I’m so interested in space. But on top of all that, I hope to see Australia establish some sort of space program in the future, and I would be honoured and delighted if I am able to help do that in the future.
How has Crimson helped you?
My Crimson tutor Ed has been a great help when it comes to advice for my space projects. He has given me lots of tips and answers my questions if I have a problem. When it came to creating a logo for AYSS, Ed helped with the formal process to establish it. It has been great having a tutor to guide me through the process of running my own organisation.