Buzz Aldrin to touch down in Cork this summer for space conference

30 Mar 2017

Dr Buzz Aldrin at a veteran’s parade. Image: MISHELLA/Shutterstock

Legendary astronaut and space exploration advocate Dr Buzz Aldrin will be landing in Cork this June for a conference held by the International Space University.

Anyone familiar with the history of space exploration will know the name Buzz Aldrin.

In 1969, he became the second person to ever walk on the moon, closely following Neil Armstrong while their fellow Apollo 11 crew member, Michael Collins, watched from aboard the command module orbiting above.

Kicking off 26 June

Almost 50 years later, Aldrin has gone on to become one of the most passionate advocates for further space exploration, recently pushing efforts to get humans to Mars in the next few decades.

This also includes attempts to boost our understanding of astronomy and space exploration through new technologies such as virtual reality.

It will come as welcome news to Irish space enthusiasts that Aldrin himself will touch down in Ireland this June.

Aldrin will arrive as chancellor of the International Space University (ISU) to mark its 30th edition of the Space Studies Program (SSP17), kicking off on 26 June.

The event will be taking place at the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and was chosen by the ISU because it is “a hub for entrepreneurial activity” and has “strong connections to the space industry”.

Ireland has distinguished itself in space science

ISU added: “Irish companies and researchers have distinguished themselves in NASA and the European Space Agency programmes by developing for the latter, innovative maritime services using satellite derived data in areas as diverse as marine renewables, fisheries protection, aquaculture and tourism.”

Aside from starting the proceedings, Aldrin will address SSP17 participants, faculty and the general public on anything and everything to do with space.

This edition of the two-month-long programme will cover topics ranging from the future of the International Space Station, to the applicability of the internet of things in space.

“Space science is a rapidly growing area with significant commercial potential for companies from across a very diverse range of sectors including food and nutrition, healthcare, logistics, ground supports, high-precision engineering and even rocket scientists,” said Dr Niall Smith, head of research at CIT.

“We look forward to working with [the] ISU faculty in developing a greater awareness among Irish companies of these opportunities and how best to access them.”

Dr Buzz Aldrin at a veteran’s parade. Image: MISHELLA/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic