For as long as he can remember James Boughen has been fascinated with space. He was only three years old when his dad was transferred to Kwajalein in the Marshall Island atoll—and home to Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defence Command Test Site.

“We lived in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and for the next five years I learned about space travel, rockets, missiles, satellites and radar. From our backyard I could see rockets being launched only minutes after they’d been launched from California and Alaska. Can you imagine my awe and excitement”! James says.

In the next five years James met Mike Melville and Brian Binnie, the two pilots from SpaceShipOne, who landed in Kwajalein mid-flight to experiment on Proteus—the space plane.

In school James also learnt how satellites are launched and how they can be aborted after take off. His knowledge extended to trajectory patterns of missiles and rockets, and he spent hours in his remote island—where there was no light reflection—watching satellites travel in their orbits around the earth.

This love affair with space and satellites sealed James’ fate and when he returned to Australia he took to studying engineering, physics, information technology and maths B and C in school. One day he hopes to study aerospace engineering.

Outside his exciting science filled space life James comes down to earth by playing cricket and soccer and participating in fundraising activities. He is part of his school’s community group who feed breakfast to the homeless on weekends and spends time with disabled children—feeding, caring and camping with them overnight. 

James Boughen ASG student - the Next Big Thing