Korean Astronaut Dr Soyeon Yi Visits Australia

Korean Astronaut Dr Soyeon Yi Visits Australia

During January, Dr Soyeon Yi, Korea's first astronaut, was in Australia to support the International Space University Southern Hemisphere Summer Space Program. Dr Yi, an ISU alumnus, spent a week working with the 34 international participants from Australia, New Zealand, Italy, China, Brazil, South Africa, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia, Spain and the USA. She also joined NASA astronauts, Ken Ham and Scott Kelly, for a public talk in Adelaide.

Before returning to Korea, Dr Yi visited Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. In Melbourne she toured VSSEC and gave a public talk at Engineers Australia on behalf of the National Committee for Space Engineering. Dr Yi is a Mechanical Engineer who is now applying her skills to biomedical applications. Much like Australia, Korea didn't have an astronaut program when she was at school but her love of science, passion for trying new things and dedication to fitness, made her a perfect candidate when the opportunity presented itself.

There was a great deal of interest in her visit and despite her very demanding schedule, she was very generous with everyone she met. As an inspirational female engineer, she shared her experience of astronaut selection, training in Russia, and working on the International Space Station for 10 days conducting experiments on behalf of KARI (the Korean Space Agency) and Korean Universities. The younger members of the audience had lots of questions and were very impressed with her sense of humour. For those who were unable to attend the evening at Engineers Australia, Dr Yi was interviewed for the Inspiration: Celebrating Successful Women TV series and the Space Show on Southern FM 88.3. The interview with Andrew Rennie for the Space Show will go to air Wednesday 15th February at 7:00pm.