SGAC Ireland

National Point of Contact 
Ireland Ireland
James Harpur Laura Keogh
James Harpur
Aug 2014-Aug 2018
    Laura Keogh        Jul 2016 - Jul 2018
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Welcome to the homepage of SGAC Ireland! SGAC Ireland’s goal is to act as a focal point for the space community in Ireland to bring space enthusiasts together and to spread awareness about space education. We also aim to help and promote the new generation of Irish space leaders. If you have an interest in space and in the Irish space community in particular please join us and spread the word about SGAC Ireland.

Ireland is unique in that we do not have any national space programme, and no representation at the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). Thus, the SGAC is one of the few means the Irish space industry has a voice within UNOOSA. Ireland is also a member of the European Space Agency (ESA). In addition to acting as a focal point, it is also the current goal of SGAC Ireland to lobby the government to join UNOOSA.


Attention: The Irish ESA Space Solutions Centre is now open to aid Irish space start-ups or anyone with an innovative space related idea. Please see the links below for the details on the relevant Irish space education and space industry activities.

Coming up on the Irish event list is:


Young Space Activities Overview in Ireland

Ireland has an established commercial space sector, where many young space enthusiasts may find employment; there are approximately eighty space companies doing work in Ireland, from dealing with launchers and human spaceflight to satellite technology. Many of these companies have formed the Irish Space Industry Group and are in the process of lobbying the government to invest more in the space sector. In addition, ESA provides a great portal though which young space enthusiasts can work within the space sector. ESA commissions several of our universities and companies to carry out works. Enterprise Ireland’s role is to assist Irish universities and companies to successfully bid for ESA contracts and help them exploit their technologies in the commercial space market. Several Irish companies were able to secure contracts from ESA to develop and supply components for the Galileo satellites and the extensive ground-based network of the satellite control system. The Irish companies involved are; Airtel ATN Ltd, Dublin; Daysha Consulting Ltd, Dublin; Measurement Specialities (MSI), Galway; The National Space Centre Ltd, Midleton, Cork; Skytek Ltd, Dublin; Sogeti, Dublin and Galway and Zelinda Ltd, Waterford. In addition, ESA has set up a Business Incubation Centre (BIC) for Ireland called the Irish ESA Space Solutions Centre. A BIC, if you are not aware, is an enabling centre, to enable start up space businesses. If a company registers to a BIC, they gain access to a whole host of facilities, including equipment, engineers, accountants and lawyers. Usually a company is only allowed to be part of a BIC for two years.

Ireland also has a place within the space outreach and academic network. There are a number of observatories located in many parts of the country and regular observations are open free to the public. There is also an Irish rocketry society in which children, students, adults or families can enjoy learning how to design, build and launch model rockets. Ireland also boasts the largest national astronomy club in the world relative to population, aptly named "Astronomy Ireland," which aims to promote astronomy, space interest and education through talks, lectures, observing sessions and other events nationwide. There are numerous universities and institutes in Ireland where bachelors and post graduate research can be carried out in space related subjects such as astronomy, physics & astrophysics, space science and engineering. Several student space societies have been set up to aid students both in learning about space, but to also learn how to enter the space sector professionally. There are also several Irish space education blogs. Furthermore, Ireland regularly takes part in International Space Week. In addition, Ireland will be hosting the International Space University's Summer Studies Programme next year, in 2017, at the Cork Institute of Technology. The Space Studies Program gathers space professionals from all over the world for an exciting and intense summer to gain a holistic understanding of the global space industry.

Please see links relating to the Irish space sector below. If you have any useful information (e.g., links, events, clubs or societies) which would add to our current page, please do not hesitate to contact Ireland’s National Point of Contact.


Country-Specific Events in 2017

Groups that regularly host space events

The successful events that have taken place so far this year

Interesting Web Links for the Young Generation in Ireland

Helpful links on the Irish Space Industry and where to go if you want to set up a Space Start-Up or need space research funding

Helpful links on where you can study about space in Ireland

Irish Space Blogs

Space Education Resources and Activities

  • European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO). Promoting space as a theme to inspire and engage young people in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
  • STEPS to engineering. Engineers Irelands’ STEPS programme was established in 2000 to encourage primary and post-primary students to explore the world of science and engineering.  STEPS is managed by Engineers Ireland and is supported by the Department of Education; Science, Forfás and a number of major engineering employers.
  • European Space Agency Kids Corner
  • The only way is up: Ireland’s First Secondary School Experiment to go to Space is a project co-ordinated by Norah Patten, Communications and Outreach manager for the Irish Centre for Composites Research which will see the first experiment designed by Irish high school students go to the International Space Station in 2014. The project is scheduled to launch on the Orb-2 mission from Wallops Virginia on the Antares Orbital Sciences rocket. 

Places to see

  • Birr Castle, Co. Offally: The Great Telescope – in the 1840’s the Earl of Rosse designed and built the largest telescope in the world. This reflecting telescope remained the largest in the world for over 70 years.
  • Newgrange, Co. Meath: Constructed over 5000 years ago (making it older than the Pyramids) Newgrange is an ancient temple and passage tomb. Newgrange is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the Winter Solstice sun. Above the entrance to the passage of the mound there is a opening called a roof-box.  On mornings around the winter solstice a beam of light penetrates the roof-box and travels up the 19 metre passage and into the chamber. As the sun rises higher, the beam widens so that the whole chamber is dramatically illuminated.


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