Astronauts' visit is out of this world says 'Two Brains'

Travel report update

Morning weather and travel: mist descends on parts of Hampshire

He is known as Two Brains for his incredible intelligence.

Now Havant MP and government minister, David Willetts, has revealed the secret of his inspiration - outer space.

The Tory minister for universities and skills says he too is counting down the days until the crew of the space shuttle Atlantis beam into Portsmouth.

The six astronauts, fresh from a 12-day mission to the International Space Station, will make 10 appearances culminating in a spectacular show for 21,000 people at Fratton Park on June 28.

Mr Willetts, pictured right, said: 'Space has always held a fascination for me.

'For me, just as it has for so many people, the things that excite young people's interest in science and maths are space and dinosaurs. All the evidence suggest if you're going to get young people into those subjects they are the two most powerful things.

'I'm of the generation who remembers getting up very early in the morning to see man's first steps on the moon, all that kind of stuff.

'I can remember the excitement of that and science and space still excites young people today.'

The tour across Gosport and Portsmouth is being arranged by the International Space School Educational Trust and Portsmouth Grammar School in the hope of inspiring youngsters to go for their goals, and spark an interest in science, engineering and technology.

Mr Willetts added: 'I think the visit is going to be fantastic. I can't wait.'