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Mission specialists Rex Walheim, Sandy Magnus, pilot Doug Hurley and commander Chris Ferguson on their way to the space shuttle Atlantis Terry Renna/AP/Press Association Images

Space shuttle Atlantis - the Irish connections

An Irish science blog has uncovered the many links between the final space shuttle mission and our fair isle.

IT TURNS OUT that NASA’s final space shuttle flight has a hint of green to it, thanks to a number of connections to the Emerald Isle. has uncovered some rather interesting Irish links to the flight, which will take off this afternoon, weather permitting.

According to the site, the Atlantis will deliver equipment to the International Space Station, including CETSOL cartridges.

It transpires that a team at University College Dublin’s School of Electrical, Electronic and Mechanical Engineering will compare the results from experiements carried out with these cartridges to their own experiments.

Meanwhile, a student from Limerick Institute of Technology will have his science project on board – and he will even get to watch the launch from the NASA Kennedy Space Centre.

And then there’s the astronaut who played a 100-year-old tin whistle on board a shuttle…

To find out about the rest of the connections, visit>

Read more: End of an era – last ever space shuttle poised for launch>

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