Irish entrepreneur Keren Jackson in final 3 for space mission

11 Nov 2015

Keren Jackson speaking at the One Young World Summit 2014. Image via One Young World/Flickr

We will soon know whether Irish entrepreneur Keren Jackson will be the first Irish person in space having been included in the final three for a space mission due to launch in 2018.

22-year-old Keren Jackson is one of Ireland’s rising stars, to pardon the pun, as the CEO of the social enterprise company BlueFire, which helps host events and festivals in Dublin with the aim of creating greater community spirit among different cultures.

Having applied to the Kruger Cowne Rising Star Programme, Keren has managed to make it through hundreds of applications to make the final three, along with two other young innovators from the UK and Nigeria.

The trip aboard the XCOR Aerospace Lynx Spacecraft, which looks like a smaller version of the retired Space Shuttle, will fly the winning passenger into the outer reaches of Earth for a period of one hour at a height of 103km.

According to the Irish Independent, the eventual winner of the three finalists will be decided by a panel of judges, including Irishman Sir Bob Geldof, at the One Young World Summit held in Bangkok towards the end of this month.

The Kildare native has been trying to promote BlueFire worldwide, which she can achieve by winning the Rising Star programme and, writing on the Kruger Cowne website, she said: “Nobody’s journey is easy: mine certainly hasn’t been.

“I struggled through depression and an underlying belief that I’m not good enough: pushed through to pursue my dream in spite of having no contacts or work experience. I sacrificed a lot, even lived homeless. Through this I’ve learned that to overcome the 1,000 knocks life brings, you must sit still and listen to the great compass that is your own heart.”

Women Invent is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Intel, Open Eir (formerly Eircom Wholesale), Fidelity Investments, Accenture and CoderDojo.

Keren Jackson image via One Young World/Flickr

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic