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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 January, 2004, 12:34 GMT
Cornish school's bold goings-on
The Earth
The college centre provides a base for astronomical research
A Russian cosmonaut has launched a centre for space studies at a Cornwall school.

Colonel Alexander Volkov, who has been on three missions into space, was at Callington Community College for the opening of the Space Centre.

The centre is aimed at promoting interest in astronomy and space science throughout the community.

College students have been involved with a partnership with the Russian Space Agency and some have made visits to the centre in Moscow.

Last year three A-level students met astronauts at Nasa.

Astronomical research

Colonel Volkov was accompanied by Dr Alexander Martynov, responsible for the early landing of remote probes on Mars and Venus.

The visit is the culmination of teacher Mike Grocott's dreams to open a space centre at the college.

Mr Grocott said: "I am delighted, and Colonel Volkov has been absolutely wonderful, speaking to the students and giving the centre a real lift."

The college says the centre will be both a place to learn and a centre for astronomical research.

The centre has units to help hi-tech businesses get started and room for the public to watch space technology lessons.

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