“For a long time,” Stephen Ennis admits, “I believed that Space was something for genius minds in Pasadena [NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory]. I never believed us humble Irish could play a part.” With the work of space-oriented companies such as the ESA and ISIG, things are now changing at a fast pace for Ireland.
Speaking of the lure of space to us earth dwellers, world-renowned astronomer Carl Sagan once said: “The open road still softly calls, like a nearly forgotten song of childhood. We invest far-off places with a certain romance.” It was with this in mind that the founders of TSS set out to form Ireland’s premier society dedicated solely and directly to space.
They chose to break apart from the standard science-oriented societies like Physics, Maths etc. because they feel that the space industry is not confined to any one discipline, but incorporates fields of business, law, medicine amongst countless others. Many of its members foster dreams of joining the space industry in the future, members from all sorts of academic backgrounds. “For a long time,” Stephen Ennis admits, “I believed that Space was something for genius minds in Pasadena [NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory]. I never believed us humble Irish could play a part.” With the work of space-oriented companies such as the ESA and ISIG, things are now changing at a fast pace for Ireland.
The original members of TSS began to advocate for CSC recognition in early August of this year. Their difficulties were down to timing as they struggled to move forward prior to the beginning of the semester. They are still experiencing technical issues with their website, concerning moving the site to a college host. Unfortunately, the society had not yet received official recognition by Freshers’ Week, a pivotal time for societies to establish its membership pool. Ennis commended the CSC for trying their utmost to accommodate them in the busy lead up to the start of term.
TSS acted to counteract this setback with a membership drive on November 14 and 15 and an ongoing campaign to convert the 500 current subscribers to their weekly newsletter into active members.
The highlight thus far of the society’s weekly events was the panel discussion held to discuss the colonisation of Mars. Trinity’s own Prof. Mary Bourke and Prof. Brian Epseys engaged in lively debate along with audience participation as they touched on the challenges of the exploration of mars and the effects private industry has on the search for life on Mars. TSS plan to continue the hosting of one event per week for the remainder of Michaelmas Term, though there is no online information available yet on which of their aspirations will in fact come into being for its members to enjoy.
The founding of Trinity Space Society is a sure sign of the progression of science and technology in Ireland today. While it is still in the early days of construction, it is both an offspring and contributor to the small steps for man that Ireland continues to make in the field of space exploration.
And finally, because we all know this is the real burning question: The representatives of the society takes no decisive stance on the planetary status of Pluto.