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Also in the news / Harriet’s portrait, space camp, largest cruise ship of year

Stuart Pearson Wright and Harriet with the painting. Photo: BBC/Chatterbox

A FUNDRAISER for the Shetland MRI scanner appeal appeared on national TV last night on BBC’s Extraordinary Portraits series.

Harriet Middleton founded the knitting themed MRI Maakers group and helped to raise more than £100,000 for appeal.

Extraordinary Portraits sees celebrated artists paint portraits of people with interesting tales, and Harriet featured in an episode broadcast on BBC One last night (Monday).


SAXAVORD Spaceport is preparing to host the second edition of an ‘Astronaut Job Camp’.

Children aged 11-14 in Shetland, and virtually across the UK and North America, are invited to take part in the summer camp free of charge, and they can register now.

Designed to complement the educational ambitions of SaxaVord Spaceport, the camp’s mission is for children to foster the acquisition of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) skills and teamwork, and leave with the knowledge that a career in the space industry is firming within their grasp.

Starting for virtual participants on 4 July, and in-person in Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick on 11 July, the camp will involve a series of “fun and interactive space mission-themed workshops and special guest experiences from professional astronauts and scientists”.

Space educator Mike Mongo is behind the camp, and more than 150 virtual participants from five continents took part in the project in 2021.

SaxaVord Spaceport education officer Mason Robbins said: “There is no more exciting way to learn about STEAM subjects than via a trip into space.

“This camp will be fun, hands-on and a real taste of a career in space. We are committed to putting Shetland, Scotland and the UK on the map as a centre of space knowledge, innovation and resources, and this is just the start.”

More information can be found online here.


THE LARGEST cruise ship of the season arrived in Lerwick this morning (Tuesday).

The perhaps aptly named Costa Fortuna comes in at 102,587 gross tonnes and has a length of 272 metres. She is carrying 1,443 passengers of 29 nationalities.

Lerwick Port Authority cruise and marketing manager Melanie Henderson said: “Costa Fortuna is another demonstration of the harbour’s capacity to handle a wide range of vessel sizes – 38 so far this season, including eight maiden calls.

“A record of over 100 ship arrivals is scheduled with the final visit in October, highlighting that the recovery in activity post-Covid is well underway, making an important contribution to the Shetland economy.”

Photo: Melanie Henderson