NASA astronaut Scott Kelly paid a flying visit to Northern England last week to launch a competition to visit two space centers in the States and try out a Shuttle flight simulator.
The former pilot of space shuttle Discovery dropped into Royton and Crompton School in Oldham to help inspire the next generation of space travellers.
They are among 52 students who have been selected to travel to America and spend 10 days at a camp at the NASA Space Centre in Houston.
The seven selected are Lynsey Stewart from Hermitage Academy; Cheryl Burgar, Oban High School, and Isla Sheldrick, all from Argyll and Bute.
The four Highlanders are: Donald Slater, Culloden Academy; Gladys Macrae, Fortrose Academy; Gavin Eardley, Lochaber High School, and Jeff Lawrie, Mallaig High School.
They will spend 10 days undertaking space-related learning activities, including lectures and group work with NASA space cadets, astronauts and scientists.
They will also have the opportunity to visit the space shuttle, space agency laboratories and get a behind-the-scenes view of the world of space exploration.
All are S4 students of Careers Scotland Space School, a world-leading programme managed by the jobs agency and supported by the Scottish Executive and NASA.
Its aim is to increase participation and motivation of students in science and technology and to help young people understand how the subjects apply to making real career choices.
The successful 52, who will attend the space camps in January or September, were selected from around 3,000 students nationwide, who completed a distance-learning programme.
Around 120 students not selected for the trip will attend a residential summer school in June, hosted by the University of Strathclyde and which will focus on electronics and life sciences and are supported by astronauts and scientists.
Extracts first published by the Oldham Advertiser and Scotland’s Press and Journal.