A Dundalk woman has spoken of her ambition to be Ireland’s first female astronaut. Writing in the Irish Times, Niamh Shaw states: “I have set myself a goal this year. I will spend 2014 finding out exactly what it would take for me to get to space, and, as an actor and scientist, I hope to present a theatrical show with the results.”
Niamh says that growing up in Dundalk, the idea of becoming an astronaut was a a distant one.
“I don’t feel too bad for not having made much headway in my childhood ambition. In the 1980s it was hardly like there were astronauts hanging around Dundalk shopping centre on a Saturday who you could casually approach and ask “well, hae, Mr Astronaut. Could you please tell me how you did it?”
I grew up in a house of engineers. My family had a shared passion for technology and exploration. But while my dad and my brother John were satisfied with admiring the achievements of the space race, I developed an urgent need to participate.”
Following a year of seeing what it would take to get into space, Niamh will produce a show about her experiences. Niamh will also be participating in Engineers Week events at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork, on February 10 and 13, as part of her artist residency and the making of her new show about space.