Friday 23 February 2018

Irish students to make history as they contact astronauts in outer space by radio

Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A group of Irish students are set to enter the history books as they make direct contact with astronauts in space via radio.

Students from Glanmire Community College and Tallaght Community school will communicate with the International Space Station while in orbit.

They will be the first ever Irish students to do so.

Italian astronaut Paulo Nespoli will speak to the students while he and his crew are travelling at 27,600 km/h directly over Tallaght Community School.

In order for this to happen, amateur radio equipment will be used and the schools will set up a temporary radio station which will allow them to speak directly with Nespoli.

Principal of Glanmire Community College Ronan McCarthy said both schools are extremely excited about the prospect.

"I speak on behalf of myself, Principal Teresa Hennessy of Tallaght Community School and all the students and staff at both schools when I say that our excitement levels have hit another stratosphere! We are extremely proud of the science programmes which our schools offer and are delighted that it has been recognised globally with this amazing opportunity.

"We are excited to further blast off into the sphere of science with a whole spectrum of exciting mini events and projects in preparation for actual space contact. This is an opportunity and experience which our students will never forget."

Due to the uncertain nature of life in outer space, an exact date for these two contacts cannot be given. However, the Cork and Dublin students will be notified and placed on standby and given details of the month of contact, which will be narrowed down to a week before an exact date and time is confirmed.

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