After completing their space language training at school, students visit VSSEC, where they suit up for two missions, one as an astronaut in the Space Laboratory and one as a mission controller.

Students in Mission Control use the communications system to converse with the astronauts in the Space Laboratory, direct them in their science tasks and watch them complete their tasks on the central screen. Astronauts describe their observations, experiments and experiences to the mission controllers who record this information in written form.

The program is designed to maximise the amount of conversation the students use. The entire mission is conducted in the language of choice.

The activities in the Space Laboratory include

  • observing light: students use spectroscopes and a variety of light sources to observe and describe the colours.

  • space garden: students describe the condition of the plants in the space garden. Students measure the height of the plants and report on their health.

  • minerals: students observe a variety of minerals and describe them, including their colour, size, weight and texture.

  • environment: students answer questions from journalists about the environment in the space station, and their impressions of living and working in space.

Students receive a Mission Log Book containing vocabulary and phrases relevant to the activities.

 During the mission at VSSEC, the class teachers are responsible for encouraging the students to use their language skills and assisting them with any language- related questions.