Andover Events Local News

Andover Space Programme Balloon launches at A- Fest on Saturday the 6th of September

Art Studio’s ‘Andover Space Programme’ is partnering with A-Fest to Live-Stream their Balloon Launch.

Andover Space Programme is an idea devised by Tom Mansfield for Chapel Arts Studios who offered him a 2019 Artist In Residence project ‘CAS:AIR There’s a Bigger Picture Out There’. CAS:AIR is an annually repeating programme focused on engaging local people in the arts. Mansfield, worked with Andover Young Carers and the Picket Twenty Fillies (W.I.) to name, design and construct a spacecraft using a high altitude weather balloon.

As part of this year’s Andover youth festival A-fest, the weather-balloon propelled spacecraft will be launched to an altitude of at least 20km above the earth, creating a moment of joy, pride, hope and play for all. Carrying a payload of messages from Andover young people and their families, as well as cameras to film its 3hr journey, Mansfield will attempt to recover the craft and its footage for a display at Winchester Science Centre.

The launch of the Andover spacecraft is weather dependent but scheduled for 11.20am on Saturday 6th September. You may like to opt-in for SMS updates from Andover Space Programme at​. Andover Radio 95.9FM is also covering the event. Anyone can witness the show by going to​ ​​.

Previously attended by 3,000 young people, it is the first time the popular festival will be virtual, enabling young people and their families to enjoy the youth festival from the comfort of their homes, from 11 am to 3 pm on YouTube. There will be updates on the progress of the GPS trackable space-craft throughout the day.

A-fest organisers, Katherine Bird and Cat Randle, have recruited Dmitrijs Meiksans MYP, local Member of Youth Parliament, to the team to ensure the smooth running of the live-stream, after his successful charity Livestream for DMK Worldwide youth organisation, British Youth Council, Hampshire Youth Parliament, Unity, Andover Trees United.

The event will be a mixture of live streaming and films. Cat Randle co-organiser says ​“Online events allow people who struggle due to distance and disability to perform and attend.”

Maija Liepins CAS Engagement Manager says “W​ ith the CAS:AIR space project, CAS Curator Susan Francis wanted to connect people in Andover to their hopeful ideas of a ‘bigger picture’, making connections nationally, globally and beyond. The internet too is also such a symbol of connectivity. Because making space for the needs and visions of young people is important we will also be using the Instagram hashtag #casAIRspace to invite Andover young people to “think big” about art in Andover for young people.”

CAS:AIR There’s A Bigger Picture Out There and the resulting Andover Space Programme by ​Upstart Theatre’s Tom Mansfield​ is supported by the following project partners: ​Test Valley Borough Council,

 Andover Radio Station, Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium, Andover Vision, Andover Library, Andover Town Council.

About the author

Dan Hooks

Hi there my name is Dan Hooks and I am a poet.

My poetry has many diverse themes from madness to the mundane, from fantasy and fable to philosophical and the darkness of reality (whatever that is).

I have been writing since I was 18 and have inspired other artists such as Benjamin Heine who created an piece of art work called”filled with fire” from my poem called “Freedom”. That poem was inspired from a quote from Nelson Mandela saying “we are free to be free”. Writing I find is a collaborative process.

I have also written other poems which have been used in language courses in America, Canada and Australia. One of which is called “poem on identity” and the other one is “Antithesis”.

I have a soundcloud account in which I post poems to music and my spoken word pieces. I find spreading my work on various social media platforms really useful for presenting my work.

I am also fond of travelling and have climbed Mount Fuji in Japan visited Finland skied in both USA in keystone Colorado and Whistler in Canada. I find perspective can be found in travelling to other countries and it also helps you appreciate other cultures as well your own.