Sunday 18 March 2018

Ambitious Niamh turning space dream into reality

Dundalk actress, engineer and space enthusiast, Niamh Shaw
Dundalk actress, engineer and space enthusiast, Niamh Shaw

DUNDALK's aspiring astronaut Dr. Niamh Shaw featured in the line-up at the 'Curiosity' festival in Cork last weekend.

Niamh Shaw declared her ambition to exit the earth's atmosphere earlier this year.

The Ard Easmuinn native said it had always been an ambition of hers to go to space but is now determined to follow through on her dream.

At Blackrock Castle Observatory, the artist, scientist and actor documented her progress in a performance presentation.

'I've no doubt that, by the time I am 65, I will get to space,' said Dr Shaw. 'This year, I set myself the task to see what would happen if I decided to realise my childhood dream of getting there.'

The show saw Dr Shaw share her progress in getting to space, what she's learned to date, the people she's met and her visits to Nasa and the European Space Agency.

'I'm not a millionaire,' she said. 'I've just put this out there to see what would happen. I've made this year about letting go of fears of failure and achieving the dream, and that in itself has thrown up so many opportunities. I'm meeting fascinating people, my world is expanding.'

Dr Shaw, as the current artist in residence at the observatory, said she hopes her work will inspire others to follow their own dreams, particularly those choosing future career options.

In her presentation, she documented the history of space exploration and probe her own 'obsession with space.'

She told how she hopes to help shape changing perspectives of space while fostering a greater awareness of space exploration for the future.

'I believe our perception of life on this planet will change radically through space exploration and that will happen sooner than we know,' she said.

Through her work, the Dundalk native said she hopes to bridge the gap between science, technology, and art.

'I try to straddle the two worlds, so the show is done in a very accessible way,' she said.

The Argus