“Let me just float an idea out there…”

Those were the understated words that preceded the biggest excitement of Inspirefest, Prof Susan McKenna Lawlor stunned the audience at the Reaching for the Stars panel by announcing plans to put Ireland’s very first spacecraft in motion.

An excited crowd asked questions about cost — a mere €5m — and discussed funding possibilities, while panel moderator Leo Enright overcame his initial shock to press McKenna Lawlor for details.