Student's research project has lift off
A THIRD-level student is on countdown today at the NASA Kennedy Space Centre for lift-off of the final space shuttle mission which has his science project on-board.
Gerard Newsham (24), a post-graduate student at Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT), is currently working at the Space Life Science Lab in Florida.
From Corbally, Co Clare, Gerard is working on a project entitled, 'Symbiotic Nodulation in a Reduced Gravity Environment (SyNRGE)' -- which set out to learn how plants and bacteria work together in space.
Staff and fellow post-graduate students from LIT will watch live TV feeds from the Kennedy Space Centre, where the final mission for the 30-year-programme is due to take off -- weather permitting -- at 11.26am. The space shuttle Atlantis is destined for the International Space Station.
Speaking from the Kennedy Space Centre, Gerard said that it was an honour beyond his wildest dreams to be associated with such a historic moment in space exploration. "I still pinch myself every day I'm here," he added.