Two Dublin students win ESA traineeships

Stephen O'Connor & Kim Heary
Stephen O'Connor & Kim Heary

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26 October 2017 | 0

Two scientists from Clondalkin in Dublin have won a national competition that will see them contribute to cutting-edge research in the areas of space science, exploration and technology for the European Space Agency (ESA).

Kim Heary, who has an MSc in experimental physics from NUI Galway, will investigate the effects of atomic oxygen on external space optics. This will help to ensure that spacecraft can withstand the harsh conditions of space during their whole service life.

Heary will be joined by Stephen O’Connor who holds an MSc in space and science technology from UCD. He will work on a project investigating the relationship between molecular contamination and wavelength optics. Some of the work he will undertake may contribute to future space missions such as Plato or Euclid.

In 2016, the Irish Research Council and the ESA announced a partnership to give Irish-based science and engineering graduates a chance to make their mark in the field of space exploration.

Under this partnership, the ESA will host Irish trainees in its centres across Europe, providing opportunities to work on projects covering topics such as human spaceflight, the launch and operation of unmanned exploration missions to other planets, Earth observation, science and telecommunication, and designing launch vehicles.

Peter Brown, Director of the Irish Research Council said: “The Irish Research Council-European Space Agency Traineeships offer graduates the life-changing opportunity to pursue a career in what is Europe’s gateway to space.

“The Council is committed to supporting the development of Europe’s space capability and ensuring that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. We look forward to many productive years of working with the European Space Agency on this important initiative.”

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