In Flight Call to ISS with ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet
350 children and teachers, as well as LIT lecturers and students, have taken part in a live video link up with an astronaut on board the International Space Station. European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spoke to and answered questions from the gathering in the Millennium Theatre at the Limerick Institute of Technology, as well as groups in Romanian and Portugal, for 20 minutes.
Four teachers representing schools in Tipperary, Limerick and Kildare were allowed to ask the 37-year-old French astronaut a question.
Mary Gorey, a teacher from St Joseph's College in Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary asked the space traveller how long it takes for research and experiment carried out in space to be used in technology and medicine on Earth?
Next Alan Hobbins from Scoil Phádraig in Clane, Co Kildare posed the question of how does time in space help us to develop cures for sick people on the ground?
Gearoid O'Donoghue from Scoil Íde in Limerick asked what new technology related to navigation used on the International Space Station and in space is benefiting us on Earth?
The final Irish question came from Mary McElhinney from St Brigid's in Limerick, who queried whether research done on changes to the eyesight of astronauts in space have other applications.
The call can be watched again at the following web link:
The event was organised by the European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO), as part of its education and outreach activities. Such live video links with astronauts in space are rare events here in Ireland.
On the day, students and teachers heard a number of other interactive and engaging presentations from:
- Clara Cruz Niggebrugge, who travelled from the Netherlands to represent the European Space Agency.
- Stephanie O’Neill, Manager of ESERO Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.
- Dr Niall Smith, Head of Research, CIT and Head of Blackrock Castle Observatory spoke about Space Technology: The Spin Offs of Space Technology to Everyday Life.
- Robert Hill, Northern Ireland Space Office spoke about Earth Observation.
The classes were entertained at lunchtime by Sean O’Brien from Limerick Learning Hub. They also displayed posters they had been working on and the winners of the poster competition were from 5th class in Mary Queen of Ireland Girls School, Caherdavin.