Artist In Residence On Mars Mission 173| Socialising Science


Exciting News!

On January 14th I will be entering the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in the high cold desert in Utah to begin a 14 day simulated Mars mission, as part of Crew 173, with an international group of engineers, scientists and geologists. I’m there as artist in residence for the crew, making new work as well as documenting the experience for all involved. We will remain ‘in simulation’ for the duration of the mission, which means that we maintain a 22 min delay in communications (like on Mars) as well as wearing spacesuits for any exterior activities, and living within strict food, power and water rations. Wish me luck and I’ll let you know how I get along.

Full details of the mission can be found at and you can follow us during the mission (with the 22min delay of course) on Facebook and Twitter

2017 Space University Comes To Ireland

It looks like 2017 is already shaping well: Ireland will have its own chapter in space history. The Cork Institute of Technology (including Blackrock Castle Observatory) will be hosting the International Space University in partnership with the International Space University. If you have even a passing interest in space, I urge you to apply. This nine-week intensive coursed changed my life irreversibly. I wrote a series of six diary posts for HeadStuff while I was there that you can find through the links below.


We do our best to cover as many national science/curious events as we can in this column, so if you have an event coming up, email with ‘Socialising Science’ in the Subject line and we’ll include it in the next column. Note: I will of course be on fake Mars for the next few weeks so I apologies for any delays.

Main Image Source: Mars Mission 173


About Author

Niamh Shaw

Dr Niamh Shaw, a performer, scientist and engineer, is passionate about awakening people's curiosity. Formerly a full-time academic and published author in peer-reviewed journals she embarked on a career which merges science, art, technology and humanity and is currently the Artist in Residence at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork. Niamh regularly contributes popular science/tech related topics on national TV and radio, including TV3's Late Lunch Live for Science Foundation Ireland, as well as speaking publicly at events including TEDxUCD, Trailblazery (2013), Space Expo (Trinity College), Festival of Curiosity (Space Tourist 2014; Curious Tales with Dara O’Briain, 2013). Her most recent science art performance,'To Space’, funded by Science Foundation Ireland (in partnership with CIT BCO) & The Arts Council of Ireland about Irelands involvement in Space, premiered at Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival and will be presented at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August this year, supported by Culture Ireland.