On Saturday November 15th, Cmdr. Chris Hadfield visited Eason in Galway to sign copies of his latest book ‘You Are Here – Around the World in 92 Minutes’. As this video posted by The Connacht Tribune shows, it was an extremely popular event, with hundreds of people braving the elements to meet Ireland’s favourite astronaut.
The ReelLIFE SCIENCE team were lucky enough to meet Cmdr. Hadfield beforehand, where he presented students from the winning primary school, Scoil Aonghusa Senior, with their €1000 prize. As one of our Special Guest Judges for 2015, he had been very impressed with the videos submitted by Irish primary and secondary students for the competition, saying “Discovery and creativity, turned loose by imagination. A great project that I am proud to be a part of.”
Cmdr. Hadfield congratulated the students on their win, but reminded them not to focus on the award but rather on all the effort they, and their teacher Jennie Smith, had put into making the video, saying “You should be proud of two things; winning this award, but even more so, the work you put into the video to achieve this.”
Before meeting the hundreds of people gathered below in Eason Galway and all along Shop Street, Cmdr. Hadfield also met with members of the ReelLIFE SCIENCE team and supporters, including Anne Casserly (Marketing & Administration Manager, Galway Science & Technology Forum), Claire Riordan (Science Engagement Associate, Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM)), Dr. Muriel Grenon (Cell EXPLORERS Science Education and Outreach Programme), Dr. Enda O’Connell (ReelLIFE SCIENCE) and Dr. Claire Concannon (Cell EXPLORERS Science Education and Outreach Programme). He also met with the youngest ReelLIFE SCIENCE team members, Hazel and Charlie O’Connell!
“Ireland actually is, as everybody knows, geographically uniquely situated. But it is unique for astronauts because of the long haul across the Atlantic, especially right after launch. You come up and arc across the North Atlantic and right at the apex of our orbit, we cross the coast of the southern half of Ireland. It’s the first thing you see after the long voyage across the Atlantic, and so there’s an anticipation of it. The colours of it come up quite clearly. Because of the rain, of course, it’s green, so you can actually see the green from space!” (Chris Hadfield in conversation with Pat Kenny, May 2015.)
Cmdr. Hadfield was presented with a copy of ‘Ireland’s Atlantic Shore’ (Collins Press), a landmark with which he is very familiar, albeit from a much different perspective!