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Tag Archives: space

St Flannan’s College is out of this world

AN Ennis school has proven itself to be out of this world by being a part of a NASA mission to Mars. The names of some 300 St Flannan’s College students and teachers have been sent to the Red Planet on NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover, with the spacecraft expected to touchdown on February 18. St Flannan’s physics teacher John Conneely tells us that the school is excited to be a part of this momentous occasion, which marks one small step towards human exploration of the planet. He explains that the school got involved through NASA’s ‘Send Your Name to Mars’ campaign, part of a public engagement initiative to highlight missions involved with NASA’s journey from the Moon to Mars. The Ennis names join millions of others submitted from people all over the world. “We are very pleased to be part of NASA’s latest educational programme. If the Perseverance lander can survive the ‘seven minutes of terror’ decent into the thin …

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Shannon-based Rescue 115 on standby for SpaceX launch

THE crew of Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, were on standby during the early hours of Monday morning to assist the SpaceX Crew Dragon mission launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida. After the launch, Brendan Meehan, Chief Crewman Standards with Rescue 115, told The Clare Champion, that the Shannon crew were prepared to rescue the four astronauts on board in the event the mission was forced to abort before making it into orbit, and touchdown in the Atlantic Ocean anywhere between 50 and 200km off the Clare coast. “It’s quite an unusual event, and I suppose the chances of us being called to action were probably slim. Nonetheless, we were ready to fly out to rescue the astronauts on board. We had been briefed on the make-up of the capsule, how the hatches open and how it would be sitting in the water. “Our job would be to fly out to the capsule, collect the astronauts and bring …

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Flannan’s students reach for the Stars

THEY may have already taken a step but a group of Ennis students are now hoping that, with some help, they will be able to take a giant leap towards a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Six students from St Flannan’s College in Ennis have taken second place in an international competition, run by US space agency NASA, for their plans for a ‘space elevator’. The fifth-year students now have an opportunity to attend a conference in Los Angeles, featuring some of the biggest names in space exploration, including former astronauts and the founder of Amazon, Jeff Benzos, who is developing technologies to allow for space tourism. However, in order for them to reach for the stars, the students have yet another out-of-this-world task to accomplish, with €12,000 in funding needed in order to take the trip. They are hopeful that a sponsor might come on board and support them in making their dream trip a reality. Students George Harrington, Cyrus Gillan, Micheal …

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Pupils gain space exploration insight

JUST 24 people have ever flown to the moon and one of the exclusive club was in Shannon last Thursday, where he spoke to children at St Aidan’s and St Caimin’s national schools. Al Worden was command module pilot on Apollo 15 in July 1971, alongside commander Dave Scott and lunar module pilot Jim Irwin. During his time in space, he entered the record books as the most isolated human being ever, at times being 3,600km away from his companions. Addressing children at St Aidan’s National School, he said that one of them could be among the first humans to go to Mars, if they persist with education. “When you get through college, you’re going to be the right age to go to Mars. Some of you may be able to do that and that’s going to be a very cool thing to do. It took me two weeks to go to the moon and come back. Going to Mars …

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Apollo 15 legend to touch down at Shannon

SPACE enthusiasts countrywide and from the UK are set to descend on Limerick to get a rare audience with one of just 24 people to have flown to the moon. Al Worden, who was one of 19 astronauts selected by NASA in 1966, served as a command module pilot for the historic Apollo 15 (July 26 – August 7, 1971), and is seen very much as one of the icons of space travel. His visit to Ireland for a lecture at LIT next Tuesday  and a dinner at the Pavilion UL the following day, is all down to one self-confessed Limerick space fanatic, Paul Ryan from Ballybricken, reaching for his own stars and, completely off his own bat, managing to connect with Worden and secure him for the two special events. And speaking this week, Ryan explained that he had a double motivation for getting Worden to come to Ireland: his life-long fascination with space, combined with it being the …

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