Ireland to build and launch its very first spacecraft

An image of the Perseid meteor shower
An image of the Perseid meteor shower

Ireland is to make history by building and launching its very own spacecraft.

The design and construction of the craft will be carried out here but Russia is apparently funding the programme. 

Maynooth-based company, Space Technology Ireland, will oversee the satellite project. 

Professor Susan McKenna-Lawlor, an Emeritus Professor at the Maynooth University Department of Experimental Physics, will manage the project. 

She is also the director of Space Technology Ireland, a company which contributed manufactured parts for the Rosetta craft which landed on a comet last year. She has been involved with various experiments flown on ESA, NASA and Russian Space Agency missions. 

David Moore, who is editor of Astronomy Ireland, says the €5m launch of the spacecraft will take place from Ireland within two years.

It was reported the Russian Space Agency offered to fund the launch for free in recognition of McKenna-Lawlor's contribution to international space science.