Art competition offers one child a prize that’s out of this world

THE lives of parents typically orbit around their children, but those roles could be about switch — one lucky Irish child is to have a satellite named after them.

A competition has been launched offering a prize that’s out of this world, courtesy of the European Commission and its Galileo Satellite Programme.

Children aged between nine and 11 years can submit a piece of artwork based on the theme of Space and Aeronautics for the chance to win the prize.

Already two satellites bearing the names of winning contestants in other countries — Thijs in Belgium and Natalia from Bulgaria — are being primed for launch into orbit on October 20.

The competition is taking place in each of the 27 EU member states and the closing date for Irish contestants is November 15.

The winner may have to wait a while before the satellite bearing their name makes it into space, with a launch date taking place any time from the near future to 2019.

Children interested in taking part can use whatever technique they want and must then scan or photograph the finished artwork before uploading it to

The winning entry will be selected by a National Jury Panel that will include artist and TV presenter Don Conroy and David Moore, the chairman of Astronomy Ireland.

The winner will be named in January. As for the satellite, it will be part of system that will have a number of applications including transportation management and mobile phone applications — although parents might wonder if another use might not be keeping an extra eye on what their children get up to.

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