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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 28 November, 2014

Ireland to become Nasa’s first international research partner

The major announcement comes as the Euroscience Open Forum, a biennial meeting on scientific research and innovation, kicks off in Dublin.

The space shuttle Atlantis astronauts left to right, mission specialists Rex Walheim, Sandy Magnus, pilot Doug Hurley and commander Chris Ferguson.
The space shuttle Atlantis astronauts left to right, mission specialists Rex Walheim, Sandy Magnus, pilot Doug Hurley and commander Chris Ferguson.
Image: John Raoux/AP/Press Association Images

IRELAND IS TO become the first international research partner of US space agency Nasa.

The announcement, due to be officially made tomorrow at Trinity College Dublin, will allow Irish science undergraduates to work at Nasa’s research facilities and is seen by some as a move to send Ireland’s first astronaut into space.

Writing in today’s Irish Times, Eoin Reynolds reports that talks between the Irish consulate in San Francisco and Nasa regarding the partnership have been ongoing for the past two years.

The news comes as the Euroscience Open Forum, a biennial meeting on scientific research and innovation, kicks off in Dublin today. The major gathering of the science and innovation community opens at the Dublin Convention Centre and is one of the key events in the year-long Dublin City of Science festival.

More than 140 sessions will take place between today and Sunday, with the forum hearing from a host of speakers including Nasa administrator Chales Bolden Jr and CERN director general Professor Rolf Dieter Heuer – just over a week after the discovery of a previously elusive Higgs Boson-like particle.

Professor Heuer will give a lecture at Trinity College Dublin (organised by Astronomy Ireland), deliver a keynote address at 2.45pm on Saturday at the Convention Centre, and take part in a Q &A session at the Royal Irish Academy on Saturday.

Read: Major European science forum gets under way in Dublin>

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