A SCHOOLTEACHER is seeing stars after landing an out-of-this-world summer job.

Ben Farnworth, 30, swapped Haslingden High School for the United Space School in Texas this summer and secured himself a permanent position at the prestigious faculty.

He has been invited to return to the college every year as headteacher during its summer school.

Ben, head of media studies at Haslingden High, has just returned from a six-week stint at the University of Houston’s Clear Lake Campus, where the space school is based.

He took charge of 46 students aged 15 to 18 from 22 different countries at the NASA-sponsored centre.

And he got to look on as NASA carried out one of the most groundbreaking moments in planetary history when the Curiosity robot rover landed 570million km away on Mars in August.

He watched the descent of the investigative craft live from the observing room at mission control.

When Ben first visited the centre as a team mentor, he was the only non-science teacher to be selected. Now he hopes to get places for Haslingden High students at the space school in the future.

He said: “The whole experience never ceases to amaze those involved, including myself. We meet amazing people like Glynn Lunney, a flight director during Apollo 13, and Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space.

“Each team works with a mentor and stays with a host NASA family while they attend the school. At the end they present their final project to staff who work for NASA at the Johnson Space Centre.

Ben added: “This year one of the students had been interviewed by the American news channel CNN and we also had a film crew from Costa Rica following another student around and they wanted to interview me – in Spanish.”