Out of this World Success for the European Space Expo at Trinity College Dublin

Posted on: 13 June 2013

Approximately 30,000 people visited the European Space Expo during its time at Trinity College Dublin from 4th to 9th June last, making it the most popular event of the 12 countries previously visited including London, Madrid, and Brussels.
Hosted by Trinity’s School of Physics, visitors of all ages were given the opportunity to experience the wonders of space through interactive exhibits and learn how space science can benefit us all. As well as the team of dedicated mediators taking visitors on fun-filled tours of the dome,  a series of daily short Soap-Box Talks were given by talented scientists from all over Ireland on fascinating topics including  ‘What’s happening on Mars today?’, ‘The Scale of The Universe’ and ‘Interstellar space flight and other wild adventures’.
Dedicated children’s workshops were also held each day at the Space Expo dome including the ‘Sun@One’, which gave visitors the chance to remotely control a world famous telescope on the Canary Islands and take pictures of the sun, ‘SkySketcher,’ where children were able to make pastel sketches of the Sun using real scientific images taken from famous telescopes around the world, and ‘Make your own Comet’  with expert comet-making mediators helping the participants make models of what a real comet in space look like. Over 700 children in 26 school group visits took part in these workshops at the Space Expo Dome during its visit to Trinity.
“The number of visitors to the Expo is a testament to the huge public interest that there is in Ireland in science and space in particular,” stated Professor Peter Gallagher, a solar physicist at TCD and organiser of the Space Expo event at Trinity. “Space science and astronomy capture people’s imagination and are key to attracting students into careers in science and engineering. The Space Expo also highlighted the important role that Irish researchers play in European Space Agency and the European Commission space activities. Ireland’s involvement with the European Space Agency (ESA) enables Irish researchers to be at the cutting edge of modern space science and astrophysics.”
The European Space Expo was officially launched on 4th June by the Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock and words of welcome were also sent by Commander Chris Hadfield to the Space Expo during the launch. The European Space Expo is funded by the European Commission. The initiative also received local funding from Science Foundation Ireland.