Space Camp competition seeks Irish entries

18 Nov 2011

ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang on a space walk outside the International Space Station

Fancy heading to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama? Next summer, the US Embassy in Dublin will be sending one teacher, and two students between the ages of 13 and 17, from Ireland to Space Camp as part of its science outreach in 2012.

The competition will run until 11 December and the winners will be announced in January 2012. During a presentation at Dublin City University on 6 October 2011, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough spoke about the programme at Space Camp and its shuttle simulators.

Space Camp was founded in 1982 as the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Museum’s education programme to promote the study of maths, science and technology.

Since then, Space Camp has become known for its pioneering approach to maths, science and technology education in the US.

There are two separate contests for teachers and students. See the US Embassy website for details.

In other exciting space news for Ireland today, two Irishmen, Dr Dónal O’Gorman at Dublin City University (DCU) and Dr Brian Caulfield at University College Dublin (UCD), have been contracted by the European Space Agency (ESA) to identify ways to keep astronauts fit and healthy in space. The contracts were secured through Ireland’s membership of the European Space Agency, which is managed by Enterprise Ireland.

ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang, who is also head of the Science & Applications Division in ESA’s Human Spaceflight & Operation Directorate, was in Dublin this week to talk about the two space missions he has been on, as well as revealing the types of scientific research carried out at the International Space Station and its implications for progressing science and our understanding of issues such as climate change.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic