AN AYR school pupil took one giant leap towards her dream career, with an out of this world experience placement.

Lillie McCluskie was invited to spend the summer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas.

The 11-year-old Wellington School pupil was given a special invitation by Sarah Murray, NASA’s Deputy for Vehicle Systems Performance and Analysis after she impressed Sarah at Ayrshire College’s Mission Discovery programme last year.

Lillie, who volunteers at the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory, is obsessed with all things space and has dreams of becoming an astronaut was given the chance to work with specialist teams over a week-long space programme.

The teams designed space experiments, knowing that the winning idea would be launched into space and tested by astronauts at the International Space Station. Although Lillie’s team did not win the grand prize, she impressed with her ideas and presentation skills alongside pupils up to seven years older than her.

Lillie said: “I feel like the luckiest girl in the world! Spending time with all the astronauts was a dream come true. I kept having to pinch myself to make sure it was real. I’m incredibly grateful to Sarah for all the amazing opportunities she gave me and can’t wait to go back to Houston next year!”