herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

Norah's on course to be first person from Ireland in space

Dr Norah Patten (left) has always dreamt of blasting into space
Dr Norah Patten (left) has always dreamt of blasting into space

The sky's the limit for an Irish woman who's on course to become the country's first ever person in space.

Dr Norah Patten (34), from Ballina, Co Mayo, is one of 12 participants from around the world chosen to take part in a unique scientist-astronaut training programme in Florida this month.

Project PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere) is des-igned to teach candidates the skills required to effectively conduct research on the next generation of space vehicles.

Goal

"I've met astronauts over the years and I'm aware this is a long road," said Dr Patten.

"But I've spent my life focused on this goal of getting to space and for me, the journey has always been as important as the destination."

Her interest in space was initially sparked after a family trip to Nasa at the age of 11.

Since then, she has done everything in her power to develop her own career in space.

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