Explorer Training with Dr Niamh Shaw

Hey everyone.

Today I’m going to be talking about Dr Niamh Shaw and her fascinating presentation.  The presentation took place in Smock Alley Theatre. Her talk was about her wish to go to space and learn about science. Huh, sounds familiar :].


She was very interactive. She showed us with pictures and videos of her going to “Mars”, being weightless for about 30 seconds at a time in a plane and much more.So let’s first talk about her “Mars Mission“.

Here are some interesting facts; one thing special about this “Mars” is you can find this in the Utah desert after a lot of walking, biking, driving and flying! It is in the middle of this large desert and is an excellent simulation of the conditions astronauts could face on Mars. They copy everything even to going outside with specially adapted “spacesuits”.

The visors, she told us fogged up constantly and it was very hot and sweaty inside. The spacesuits are quite old though so it could be something to do with that? Another thing she mentioned to us was that they only had a limited amount of food and water (just like a Mars mission would have).  It also got very cold at night so she had to have the heating on high and unfortunately she couldn’t close her door and was almost gagged with the heat.

For all that though she thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity she was given and made some great friends with people from all over the world!Second thing…. The weightlesness. She went up in a plane that went in a triangle and at the height of the triangle everyone in the plane was weightless for 30 seconds. There was quite a few people on the plane and she was one of the few that didn’t get sick fortunately!

These things are only a few of the things Niamh showed us. It was a great talk, it really was.  Unfortunatly I’ve heard that you may not get to hear this talk anymore but if you ever have a chance of going to one of her talks, please go. It’s family friendly and so much fun.


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