Space Open Day at Cork School of Music

This event is over.

Date:Saturday October 7 2023

Time:11.00am - 17.30
Family friendly events from 11am - 2pm. Older Audiences from 2pm.

Location:Cork School of Music, Cork City

The flagship event of the first Cork Space Festival – The Space Open Day at MTU.

For families – From 11am – 1pm

Explore the stars in a planetarium dome, meet PERCY (Cork’s answer to the Mars Rover), check out cool robots and MORE!

Visitors to the Space Open Day will learn all about the exciting space research taking place at Munster Technological University as well as taking part in awesome astronomy shows and a selection of breathtaking musical performances.

The full program of events is available here, but keep reading to see some highlights from the event.

The Main Stage from 11am

  • Enjoy an incredible Night Sky Tour for the whole family with awesome Astronomer Danielle Wilcox!
  • Learn about the cool Space Research happening right here in Cork with MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory!
  • Learn all about PERCY and RAMONA, the two cool rovers from Munster Technological University!

The family friendly fun continues from 2-4pm at the Crawford Art Gallery where artist Seiko Hayase is hosting a FREE Space Art Workshop!


For Older Audiences – From 2pm

For the older audience, the later half of the day will feature a selection of panel discussions and performances hosted by special guest MC Robin Ince of BBC Radio 4’s  The Infinite Monkey Cage. Robin will be joined by a selection of astronomers, scientists, space industry professionals and more! You can view the full list of speakers here.

The Program Includes:

Is Space Trying To Kill Us?

A lighthearted look at the perils space can send our way – and what we can do about it – while also considering the opportunities space offers us to protect and repair our planet.

The Panel:

  • Dr Niall Smith – Head of MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory
  • Frances McCarthy – Performance astronomer 
  • Rory Fitzpatrick – Head of the National Space Centre

Aliens – Is the Truth Really Out There?

Are we alone? How are we searching? What should we do if we find extraterrestrial life?

The Panel:

  • Jane Dooley –  Radio Astronomer
  • Rob O’ Sullivan – Former Alien* Species Researcher
  • Dr Niall Smith – Astrophysicists

*Not that kind of alien. Sorry…

Musical Performances from Cork School of Music

Throughout the day the audience will be treated to stunning performances from CSM musicians.

Back to the Moon… For Good?

It’s been over 50 years since we last set foot on the Moon. What will our upcoming return mean for humanity and exploration further into our solar system?

The Panel:

  • Dr Laura Mainini – Aeronautical Engineer
  • Alan Giltinan – Head Astronomer at MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory

Deep Space – What’s Out There In The Universe?

We speak to three researchers exploring the deepest reaches of our universe…

The Panel:

Sorcha Mac Manamon – Astrophysics PhD Researcher

Dr Josh Reynolds – Astrophysicist

Dr Niall Smith – Astrophysicist

All this and more will be coming to the Space Open Day at the Cork School of Music. Don’t miss it!

Our MC: Robin Ince

Robin Ince is best known as a comedian and populariser of scientific ideas. He continues to present the Sony Gold Award winning BBC Radio 4 series The Infinite Monkey Cage with Professor Brian Cox and has toured solo shows about consciousness, Charles Darwin, and physics. He is also touring with Professor Brian Cox as part of his Universal World Tour.

He has curated, produced and hosted numerous nights mixing science, music and comedy at the Hammersmith Apollo and across the UK. Recently, he has received Honorary Fellowship of UCL, an honorary doctorate from Royal Holloway College (University of London), and is a fellow of the British Science Association.