|National Point of Contact|
Aug 2014-Aug 2018
|Laura Keogh Jul 2016 - Jul 2018|
Welcome to homepage of SGAC Ireland! SGAC Ireland provides a focal point for the space community in Ireland to bring space awareness and to ensure opportunities are maximized to 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. 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.
Ireland is unique in that we do not have any national space program, 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. Having said that, we are a member of the European Space Agency (ESA). We are an active participant in a variety of ESA programs such as space science, satellite navigation, satellite communications and launcher development. 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:
- Space Christmas Party (14th December 2016);
- Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition (4th – 12th January 2017);
- Engineers Week (4th – 10th March 2017);
- International Space University, Space Studies Programme 2017 in Cork, Ireland (June 26th – August 25th 2017). This is a particular honour because it is the first time the Space Studies Programme is being hosted in Ireland.
Young Space Activities Overview in Ireland
Ireland has an established commercial space sector, where many young space enthusiasts may find employment; there are approximately twenty-nine space companies doing work in Ireland, from dealing with launchers and human spaceflight to satellite technology. 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, European Space Agency (ESA) provides a great portal though which young space enthusiasts can work within the space sector. As part of the ESA programs, ESA commissions several of our universities to carry out works. Enterprise Ireland is the Irish body responsible for coordinating Ireland’s industrial and research participation in the ESA programs. Enterprise Ireland’s role is to assist and support Irish 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 is setting up a Business Incubation Centre (BIC) for Ireland. 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. At present, there is a variety of Irish space activities happening throughout Ireland: Astronomy (stargazing), model rocket launches, presentations, workshops, conferences, classes, societies, groups, space camps for children and much more. 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 kids, students, adults or a family 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 bachelor degrees can be obtained in space related subjects such as astronomy, physics & astrophysics, space science and engineering. In addition, space-related post graduate research projects can be pursued at the majority of these universities. See our interesting weblinks section of this page for a list of the associated colleges and universities. Furthermore, Ireland regularly takes part in International Space Week and Ireland will be hosting the International Space University's Summer Studies Program 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 of studying and learning about the global space industry.
Country-Specific Events in 2017
Various events to take place around Ireland for all ages and interests.
Space Christmas Party -14th December 2016);
Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition: 4th – 12th January 2017
Engineers Week: 4th – 10th March 2017
International Space University, Space Studies Programme 2017 in Cork, Ireland: June 26th – August 25th 2017
Groups that regularly host space events
- Blackrock Castle Observatory: Hosts exciting events and competitions.
- Astronomy Ireland: Hosts a range of events around the country often free of charge for everyone to come along and enjoy.
- Irish Rocketry Society (April through August): Launches take place on the last Sunday of each month.
- Dunsink Observatory: Hosts various events and seminars throughout the year.
- Trinity Space Society: Hosts various events for the students of Trinity College Dublin.
The successful events that have taken place so far this year
- Space Week 2016: 3rd - 8th October
- SpaceUp Ireland: 8th October
- Science Week 13th – 20th November 2016
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:
- 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 program 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.
- Discover Science and Engineering: Aims to increase interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among students, teachers and members of the public.
- Enterprise Ireland Space Education funding opportunities
- 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.
Institutions and Universities
- Trinity College Dublin
- Dublin City University: B.Sc. in Physics with Astronomy
- Dublin Institute of Technology
- University College Dublin: Physics with Astronomy & Space Science
- University of Limerick: Aeronautical Engineering and much more
- University College Cork: Astrophysics Degree
- NUI Maynooth: Astrophysics
- NUI Galway
Irish Space Blogs
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.