Space Night - From Leeson Street to Outer Space

Written by AMASC IRELAND. Posted in Newsletter.

On 26th November 2014 AMASC organised a fundraiser with a difference for the Benevolent Fund.  We were very honoured to welcome the eminent Space Scientist, Professor Susan McKenna-Lawlor, Emeritus Professor of NUI-Maynooth, and a past pupil of Leeson Street.  

Susan gave a most interesting and informative talk on her career as a Space Physicist and her involvement with the European Space Agency (ESA).  In particular, Susan spoke of the ESA’s Rosetta mission which had just soft-landed its Philae probe on a moving comet two weeks previously, the first time in history that such an extraordinary feat has been achieved.  Susan had been part of this mission since its beginning as her company Space Technology Ireland Ltd designed the Electrical Support System (ESS) processor unit of the probe and she, herself, is on the project steering committee and is involved in one of the experiments on board Philae. Hearing of the history and challenges faced by the Rosetta Project, the success of its outcome, and the knowledge scientists will glean from the information being sent back from the comet was very exciting. 

Rosetta was launched on 2 March 2004 and travelled 6.4 billion kilometres through the solar system before arriving at the comet on 6 August 2014. Professor Susan McKenna-Lawlor played an important role in the mission.

The evening was a great success and, together with many past pupils, attendees included interested people from UCD, TCD and members of Astronomy Ireland.  Susan was most generous with her time and answered many questions from the floor and with individuals at the wine reception following, despite having a 5am start the following day to Germany on Rosetta business. We were delighted to raise over €3,000 for the Benevolent Fund. The Atrium in Mount Anville was the perfect setting for our event and we are most grateful to the School for the use of this wonderful facility.

Rosetta was launched on 2 March 2004 and travelled 6.4 billion kilometres through the Solar System before arriving at the comet on 6 August 2014.

The Atrium in Mount Anville was the perfect setting for our event and we are most grateful to the School for letting us use this wonderful facility. 

 

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