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2005 News Releases




The Andy Thomas Space Medallion Competition

Date : 18 / 04 / 2005
Author : Chris Jones - VK2ZDD

On May 15, Australian astronaut Dr Andy Thomas will make his fourth NASA voyage to space on a 12-day mission. Since this flight is the first Shuttle mission following the Columbia accident, it is one of the most important missions for many years.

Andy Thomas graduated from Adelaide University in 1973 with a degree in mechanical engineering before taking a doctorate of philosophy in engineering. In May, 1996, he made his first space flight on Endeavour, becoming the first Australian astronaut in space.

In 1988 he spent 140 days in the Russian Mir Space Station and 12 days on a 2001 mission to the

ISS. Andy is a licensed radio amateur and is often on air when he is in space. His callsign KD5CHF and VK5MIR.

To celebrate and mark this historic event, Dr Thomas has decided to take seven specially marked and exclusive STS-114 medallions into space. Each of the solid silver medallions will be modelled on the STS-114 crew emblem and will have the launch and landing dates engraved on them.

The medallions will have considerable historical value and be a lifetime keepsake.

Andy Thomas with the support of News Ltd and Engineers Australia is sponsoring a competition and a lucky winner from each Australian State will be presented a medal.

This competition is open to all students in Australia aged 10 and above

Entries will be judged on the strongest argument in favour of education in maths and science. Winners will be announced by Andy during his space mission and be notified by mail.

The winner will receive the special STS-114 medallion taken into space by Andy, plus a certificate guaranteeing its authenticity. Andy will present the medal a few months after the voyage.

Entries are open only to primary and secondary school students aged 10 years and over.

To win a medallion, school children aged 10 and above are invited to write a 750-word response to the question: “Why is studying maths and science important to Australia’s future?”

Entrants can download an entry form from the following Link and email it to Entries must include the student’s name, age, address, school, grade, teacher’s name and contact number.

Entries will be judged by Engineers Australia and Andy Thomas will choose the final winners from each state.

The winning entries will be those who make the strongest argument in favour of education in maths and science. Judging will be based on written content alone. Artwork, embellishments and graphics are not required.

Andy Thomas will announce the winners from space during his May voyage.

Each winner will receive one of the exclusive STS-114 medallions as well as a certificate guaranteeing the authenticity of the medallion. Andy will present these medallions during his visit to Australia a few months after his voyage.

This competition is open to all students in Australia aged 10 and above and the closing date has been extended to Monday May 2 nd 2005


1. The Promoter is News Limited Newspapers Pty Ltd (ABN 47 007 871 178) of 2 Holt Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010.

2. Information and instructions on how to enter form part of the terms and conditions and entry into the competition is deemed acceptance of these terms and conditions.

3. Competition commences on Tuesday 15 March 2005 and closes with all entries being received by 6pm AEST, Monday 2 May 2005. The launch has been delayed by one week hence the extension.

4. Entry is open to Australian primary and secondary school students, aged 10 to 18 years at 1 March 2005. University students are ineligible to enter.

5. To enter, students must write an essay in 750 words or less in response to the question: “Why is studying maths and science important to Australia’s future?”

6. Each essay must be accompanied by the following information: student’s name, age, postal address, phone number, email address, school level, the student’s school name and address and a school teacher. (This information may be used to verify the student’s details). Entry forms can be downloaded from Incomplete entry forms will not be accepted.

7. Any questions or inquiries relating to the competition can be sent to the e-mail address:

8. Any questions or inquiries relating to the competition can be sent to the e-mail address:

The entry submission should be submitted in Times New Roman, 12-point font and double spaced in an MS Word document and accompanied by the entry form.

9. Entries will be judged on the strongest argument supporting education in maths and science. Judging will be based on written content alone. Artwork, embellishments and graphics are not required. Judges will also take into consideration the clarity and creativity of the submissions, whilst taking into account the age of the entrant.

10. Any essays that breach the word limit, or are written by a person who is not a primary or secondary school student will not be judged. Entries must be written by one student only. One entry per student only is permitted.

11. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Entries will not be returned.

12. Persons chosen by Engineers Australia will judge all entries. These judges will determine the winners.

13. One winner will be chosen from each of the following states and one territory: South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia and Tasmania.

14. Each state/territory winner will be notified by mail. The winners details will be published in The Advertiser, The Daily Telegraph, The Courier Mail, The Mercury, The Herald Sun and The Northern Territory News in the public notices on Tuesday 31 May 2005 and in The Sunday Times on Sunday 29 May 2005. Each state winner will also be announced by Andy Thomas, from space, between 15/5/05 - 26/5/05.

15. Winners will receive one of seven exclusive medallions that have travelled to space on Andy Thomas’ fourth NASA voyage, launching 15 May 2005. The medallions are struck from solid silver, modelled on the STS-114 crew emblem, with the shuttle launch and landing dates engraved on it. A certificate guaranteeing the authenticity of the medallion will accompany the medallion. The medallions will be presented by Andy Thomas or a NASA representative at a date to be determined, but before 1 November 2005.

16. Prizes do not include travel. The prize is not transferable or exchangeable and cannot be taken as cash. All incidental costs unless otherwise stated will be the responsibility of the prizewinners.

17. The Promoter and their related bodies corporate, their officers, employees and agents shall not be liable for any lost or misdirected mail. Any loss or damage whatsoever which is suffered (including but not limited to indirect or consequential loss) or for personal injury which is suffered or sustained as a result of collecting the prize, except for any liability which cannot be excluded by law. It is a condition of accepting the prize that the winner may be required to sign a legal release in a form determined by the Promoter in its absolute discretion.

18. In the event of war, terrorism, state of emergency or disaster (including natural disaster) the Promoter reserves the right to either provide an alternative prize to the same value as the original prize or, subject to any applicable laws or written directions made under applicable legislation, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the promotion.

19. The Promoter collects information about you to include you in the competition and, where appropriate, to award prizes and may also use the information to assist it in improving its goods and services. The Promoter may share your information with other persons or entities that assist it in running competitions or with other companies who provide prizes for competitions or reader offers.

20. By participating in the Andy Thomas Space Medal Competition, entrants agree to be contacted by Engineers Australia about similar schools programs and competitions. Engineers Australia may also use the entries, the names of the entrants and their city/town and state and any associated images for their own promotional purposes.

21. The Promoter is part of a global media and entertainment company. You can gain access to your personal information by contacting our privacy officer at the address above

22. By entering the promotion, each entrant agrees, in addition to the above uses, that the Promoter may disclose entrants’ personal information to State and Territory lottery departments. The winners’ names will be published as required under the relevant lottery legislation and the Promoter may publish or cause to be published the winner’s names and suburb in any media.

23. Employees of News Limited Newspapers Pty Ltd, related companies, and agencies associated with this promotion and their immediate families are ineligible to enter.


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