Participants 2016 Essay Contest

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One of this years most intriguing commercial travel trends are space expeditions. Kayak is now accepting reservations for flights aboard the XCOR Spacecraft. For a mere $100,000 in loose change you can float around suborbital space for a mind-blowing hour.

Sounds more science fiction than reality, right? Well, it’s happening and after years of close collaboration, you can thank the Russian-American partnership in space for the progress.

And who better to talk about this monumental launch than the first place winner of the 2016 Albany-Tula Alliance Essay Contest.

“I really wanted to write about something that I am passionate about,” said Albany High School sophomore, Erin Lippitt, “and that’s space.”

Lippitt won pocketed the first $1000 for her work on an essay posed that best answered the question “Identify and discuss ways in which Russia and the U.S. have worked together successfully to solve problems and how they can continue to work together on partnerships of mutual interest to create a more harmonious world and improve lives.”

Capital Region students, 15 registered in total, were given one month to construct a 1500-word answer and submit by deadline. Lippitt chose The Final Frontier: Space Exploration providing a historical analysis of the Space Race, Space Treaties the and the International Space Station as keys to unlocking tensions and uniting both flags.

Here’s a sample of her well-researched contribution:

Russia and America have worked productively and successfully together time and time again. Both nations have continued to cooperate with one another through some of the greatest political challenges, from the tension of the Cold War to today’s political unease. It is almost a miracle that space relations are at their best. That goes to show that united under a common goal, these countries can have a great partnership and achieve amazing, wondrous, scientific advancement. If space truly is the Final Frontier, it is best that the world faces it united and working as one.

In 2014, ATA board member Jack Aernecke and myself visited Moscow’s Museum of Space and Cosmonauts with Essay winners Isaac Smith and Tarek A. Benson.

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