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Out of this world news for University lecturer Jenni

It's taken a year to get through the tough selection process but a Cambridge engineer has had some news that will take her out of this world

Jenni Sidey, a lecturer at the University, has just been named as one of the Canadian Space Agency's newest astronauts.

Cambridge lecturer Jenni Sidey who has been selected as an astronaut by Canada

Jenni found out she'd been successful on Saturday giving her a double celebration, as July 1st is Canada Day.

Click below to watch her reaction to the news on Twitter.

Jenni says she was inspired to become an astronaut by Canada’s first female astronaut, Roberta Bondar.

Over three and a half thousand people applied for two places on the Space Agency programme. Airforce pilot Josh Kutryk was the other successful candidate

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Blur star pays tribute to space scientist

Blur star James Credit: PA

Alex James from Blur, who worked with Prof Pillinger on the Beagle 2 project, has paid tribute to the scientist

The Essex musician-turned-farmer helped to finance the space project and the band created the probe's call sign.

"Colin had the rare gift of being able to make things that were complicated and ambitious seem simple and achievable. We need more scientists like that. He was unique, and I will miss him."

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Family: Pillinger death 'devastating and unbelievable'

The family of planetary scientist Professor Colin Pillinger told the BBC his death was "devastating and unbelievable".

Planetary scientist Professor Colin Pillinger died today aged 70. Credit: Johnny Green/PA Wire

The pioneering scientist, who was best known for the ill-fated Beagle 2 mission to Mars, became a professor in interplanetary science at the Open University in 1991.

He also earned a host of other qualifications and numerous awards during his prestigious career.

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Prof Pillinger best known for ill-fated Mars mission

Planetary scientist Professor Colin Pillinger, who died today aged 70, was most famous for the ill-fated Beagle 2 mission to Mars.

Professor Colin Pillinger with the Beagle 2 landing craft in 2002. Credit: Tim Ockenden/PA Archive

The craft was supposed to land on the planet on Christmas Day 2003 and search for signs of life but vanished without a trace.

It was last seen heading towards the red planet on December 19 after separating from its European Space Agency mothership Mars Express.

Afterwards Prof Pillinger spoke of his frustration at the failed probe, and said there was nothing that should not have worked.

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Professor Colin Pillinger suffered brain haemorrhage

Pioneering scientist Professor Colin Pillinger, who was the driving force behind Britain's Mars lander Beagle 2, suffered a brain haemorrhage at his home in Cambridge.

Pioneering scientist Professor Colin Pillinger. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive

The professor, who was awarded the CBE in 2003, later died in hospital, a spokesman said.

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