Michelle McKeon (28), a Limerick based scientist, hopes to become Ireland’s first astronaut. A lecturer in environmental science at the Limerick Institute of technology McKeon is spending a year at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida doing research for long distance space travel. She is there as part of the Discover Science team who are working in the high velocity Space Science and Technology training program. Developed by the Irish government, the Kennedy Space Center and the Florida Space Institute, the aim of the program is to encourage more people to study and consider a career in science.
McKeon, who is from Clara town, in Co. Offaly, saw her work take flight when a rocket launched in early August had on board a number of meteorological experiments prepared by the Irish team, which is made up of 12 young graduates, including Sara Brady, 22, another Offaly native. ♦