herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Boomtown Bob is building up to blast-off into space while Sol tackles racism on the pitch

Bob Geldof
Bob Geldof
Rasha Muhyeddan, left, from Saudi Arabia, and Jana Al Qahtani, from Palestine pictured at the One Young World 2014 at the Convention centre in Dublin.

Bob Geldof is counting down the days to becoming the first Irish man blasted into space after completing his rigorous training.

The singer and activist is ready for lift-off and revealed he'd be catapulted into space tomorrow if the shuttle was ready.

The Boomtown Rats frontman was back on home soil at the One Young World summit to launch a competition for one young person to win a trip to space.

And he revealed he's been a fan of space travel since childhood.

"Years ago, as a little boy, I was holding my dad's hand on the steps of our flat in Mount Merrion," he said.

"We turned up the radio and tried to watch Sputnik through the clouds.

"I remember the guys saying it should be passing over Dublin now. You could hear 'beep, beep' coming from the radio."

Geldof said he was also working in a pea-canning factory in Peterborough in July 1969 when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.

crazy

"They shut down the cannery for about 10 minutes and we stood out on the loading bay and listened to the radio as the lunar module landed," he added.

"Everybody was quiet, and when it touched down everyone cheered like crazy."

Geldof will travel aboard XCOR Aerospace's Lynx rocket plane from Dutch-based Space Exploration Corp once the shuttle has completed 60 to 70 test flights.

He was speaking as more than 1,400 young people from all over the world gathered for the summit to discuss some of the pressing issues the world faces.

Former England footballer Sol Campbell flew in to campaign against racism and homophobia in the game.

"Football has changed, it's different from the 60s and 70s," he said. "People have campaigned and there's been some really good organisations."

hnews@herald.ie

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