Twinkle – a UK mission to engage and inspire through exoplanets
Astronomy Outreach and Public Engagement in the 21st Century
Anita Heward
Clara Sousa Silva (Twinkle/Researchers in Schools), Marcell Tessenyi (Twinkle/UCL), Giovanna Tinetti (Twinkle/UCL)
Twinkle is a UK mission to characterise the atmospheres of more than 100 planets orbiting distant stars. The mission is led by University College London (UCL) and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and involves a consortium of more than 15 research institutes and companies in the UK. The mission is planned for launch within four years and will be funded through a mix of public and private sources.

With its short lead-time, commercial operations plan and emphasis on off-the-shelf components to maximise cost-effectiveness and reliability, Twinkle exemplifies a new 21st Century approach to astronomy missions. It’s led by a gender-balanced management team and offers a showcase for UK science, technology and innovation. Thus, Twinkle presents an opportunity to develop an equally 21st Century plan to engage the public and the next generation of scientists and engineers – particularly young women. In this presentation, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities in developing a communications strategy for an independent mission and give an overview of our current plans for education and outreach activities for Twinkle in the run-up to launch and once operational in orbit.
09:00 - 10:30