Space Speaker in Your Classroom

The Space Speaker in Your Classroom Program for Space Week 2018 has now completed. The speakers listed below are no longer available. 

Bring the Universe into your classroom by connecting with someone on our expert space panel below.

Speakers are available to book for 30 minute online slots allowing for student Q&A time.  Please note – as these hook-ups will take place online (mainly through Skype) you will need a strong WiFi connection.

Dan Tani

Retired NASA Astronaut

Suited to: Primary or Second Level

Available: **Fully Booked**

An American engineer and former NASA astronaut, Dan Tani can discuss human spaceflight, his experiences in Space and the future of space exploration. Tani had a 16 year career at NASA, where he flew on 2 space missions for an accumulated 132 days in space, featuring 6 space walks, including the 100th spacewalk on the International Space Station.

On his first spaceflight (2001), Dan Tani served as a Mission Specialist on the 12-day STS-108 mission aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. On his second spaceflight (2007-2008), he served as a Flight Engineer for 4 months aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as a member of the Expedition 16 crew. He was delivered to the ISS as a member of the STS-120 crew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery, and was returned to Earth as a member of the STS-122 crew aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis.

Karen O' Flaherty

Science Communicator at the European Space Agency

Suited to: Primary/Secondary

Available: *Fully Booked*

Primary: Exploring the solar system - where we have been and where we are going
The European Space Agency has sent spacecraft to explore the Sun, Venus, Mars, our Moon, and the largest moon of Saturn (Titan), as well as asteroids and comets. We are preparing new spacecraft that will travel to Mercury (BepiColombo will be launching mid-October) and Jupiter, and we are going back to explore the Sun and Mars again. What have we learnt from these space explorers and what mysteries remain to be uncovered by a new generation of explorers? Karen will show some of the images from the missions, telling your students about how we got them and what you can learn from a picture, and explaining that while we find answers to some questions there are always new mysteries that are uncovered so there is plenty for future generations to get their teeth into.

Second Level: Exploring the solar system with robots and humans
The Space Age has seen a fleet of spacecraft sent out to explore the planets, moons, and smaller bodies of our Solar System. We have solved age-old mysteries and made new, unexpected discoveries. These discoveries have all been made by robotic craft, like BepiColombo which will be launching mid-October to travel to Mercury. Are we ready to send humans into space to explore further? Space agencies are now planning for a Deep Space Gateway - a habitat in the vicinity of the Moon that will be a testing ground for the challenges of long-duration human missions in deep space. Is this the first step to living on the Moon and Mars? Karen will pick a few highlights from the space missions pointing out that there is an enormous amount of discovery that can be done by robots.

Juan Miro

Retired ESA

Suited to: Primary/Secondary

Available: *Fully Booked*

Juan has worked in space programmes at the European Space Agency (ESA) for 27 years. He has recently retired from ESA but remains passionate about space and likes talking about its contributions to society. He enjoys explaining space and the underlying Physics to young students and interested public.
Juan is Spanish, has a Masters in Industrial Engineering by the Polytechnical University of Barcelona and has worked in Germany and The Netherlands. His wife Gabrielle is Irish and they spend now a lot of time in Co. Louth.

Matt Taylor

Project Scientist on Rosetta Mission

Available: **Fully booked**

Matt was previously deputy Project Scientist and Project Scientist of the Cluster and Double Star missions. His main scientific interests therefore are focused on space plasmas. However, Matt is best known for his involvement in the landing on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by the Rosetta Mission’s Philae Lander – the first spacecraft to land on a comet.

Aidan Cowley

Science Advisor, European Astronaut Centre

Suited to: Primary / Secondary

Available: *Fully Booked*

Aidan works at the European Space Agency, stationed in the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne. He can talk to students about Space, Astronauts, the European Astronaut Centre, the European Space Agency and future exploration.
He trained as a Material Scientist, and did a lot of research in the area of energy systems after that. Before that, he earned a Masters in Electronic Systems and a bachelors in Computer Applications. He has a very broad range of skills from all this, as a scientist and also as an IT guy. Skills like scientific writing and programming are tools he uses nearly daily

Laura Keogh

Data Protection and Space Lawyer

Suited to: Second Level

Available: *Fully Booked*

Talk Title: Space Careers Outside STEM - A Space Lawyer

Laura is a great example of the variety of careers that exist and are continuing to emerge within the space sector. She will share some wonderful stories about what it is like working in the space sector and the steps to take to get there. She’ll also explain what exactly a Space Lawyer is and why they are so important.

Con McCarthy

Former Project Manager at the European Space Agency

Suited to: Second Level

Available: *Fully Booked*

Con McCarthy of the European Space Agency will talk about the various missions that he has been involved with while working with ESA over the years.

Con worked on the European Spacelab mission, on ERS-1 Earth Observation satellite, he was Systems Engineer on Huygens, (Europe’s Lander to Titan on board the U.S. Cassini Saturn orbiter), and on ESA's Mars Lander and was the communications system manager for Europe's Mars mission, Mars Express and systems engineer on the Venus Express on its mission to Venus.

Stephen Ennis

Ground Segment Engineer at the European Space Agency's European Astronaut Center

Suited to: Secondary Schools

Available: *Fully Booked*

Stephen is a Ground Segment Engineer at the European Space Agency's European Astronaut Center. He works on broad range of exciting topics important to the future of human exploration across the solar system. Europe's home to astronauts is a deeply exciting place with tight connection to space agencies around the world and the Internal Space Station. It's a thrilling time in Human Spaceflight and Stephen is more than happy to share his passion to inspire the next generation of explorers.

Aisling Shannon

Structures Engineer at the European Space Agency

Suited to: Primary or Second Level

Available: *Fully Booked*

Aisling’s role at ESA is to ensure that the spacecraft gets to where it needs to go without breaking! The launch of a spacecraft is very tough from a mechanical perspective, lots of shaking and noise and some loud bangs! These shocks and vibrations are the main drivers for the mechanical design of the spacecraft. It is my responsibility to ensure that every part of the spacecraft is going to be able to survive the launch. A lot of analyses are performed to confirm this before we ever build anything.

Primary- Aisling will talk about her experience as an engineer at ESA and she would love to for students to show her their enthusiasm about space by showing off their own space projects!

Secondary - Aisling will talk about her experience at the IAC and her role as an Engineer at ESA.

Cian O' Reagan

Astronomer at Blackrock Castle Observatory

Suited to: Primary/Secondary

Available: *Fully Booked*

Talk Title: Forward to the Moon - Putting Human Footprints Back on the Lunar Surface.

Learn all about the past, present and future human exploration of our nearest neighbour in this fun, interactive and informative chat with Cian O'Regan. Students will get the opportunity to learn about the Apollo program which succeeded in landing the first humans on the Moon in the 1960s, as well as plans currently being developed by NASA and the European Space Agency who aim to return humans to the Moon in the 2030s.

Cian recently returned from the International Space University's Space Studies Program in the Netherlands where he worked as part of a team with representatives from NASA and ESA to develop a scalable power solution to enable a continuous human presence on the Moon.

Brian Shortt

Head of the Payload Technology Validation Section, Future Missions Department, Directorate of Science.

Suited to: Secondary

Available: *Fully Booked*

Talk Title: Understanding our Universe with Space Science Missions

The European Space Agency is the organisation responsible for developing, launching and operating spacecraft used for conducting space science. Dr. Shortt will give an overview of the Agency, the Science Programme, and how a mission is developed and implemented will be given.

Dr. Brian Shortt has a background in experimental and applied physics and attained his PhD in the study of laser atom interactions from the National University of Ireland. He has worked at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory on a range of fundamental and applied physics programmes including the development of miniaturised instrumentation for space flight.
Dr. Shortt has industrial experience having worked at Airbus Defence and Space as payload interface manager during the early phases of the Solar Orbiter mission. He currently leads a team of scientists and engineers who conduct laboratory testing of payload technologies in support of currently flying and future science missions.

Seanie Morris

Astronomer & Lecturer, DJ, and Radio Presenter

Suited to: Primary/Secondary

Available: *Fully Booked*

Talk Title: "What was it REALLY like on Apollo 11?"
In addition to being a Radio Presenter and DJ for the radio station Midlands 103, Seanie is a well-known amateur astronomer and has been an astronomy lecturer for many years. With the 50th anniversary of the moon landing just around the corner, Seanie will be discussing what it was really like for the astronauts on their journey to the moon. He will also go into detail about how they got there including a discussion of the Saturn V Rocket itself using his very own scale model of the rocket!