Arva schoolteacher Gavin Doyle has boldly gone where no Irish schoolteacher has gone before, all in the name of science.
The secondary school teacher of St Nessan’s Community College has just returned from eight days in NASA with fellow teacher Eugene O’Brien and four students Jason Hannon, Jonathan Roache, Jamie O’Connell and Kevin Hanley.
Their experiment was the winning entry in ‘The Only Way is Up’ competition, an innovative science challenge fronted by the University of Limerick.
The project involved testing the impact outer-space has on concrete and the prize meant that their experiment would be conducted aboard the International Space Station.
Gavin and his students got to spend time inside NASA carrying out an analysis of the experiment before it was loaded onto the Antares Rocket.
It will spend 30 days orbiting the earth before being returned to the students to conclude their research.
The experiment builds on previous work to discover if man-made materials are sustainable in space.
Results pending, it could be worth millions and used to develop colonies on the Mars One project.