Five weird and wonderful space myths - exploded

Think the movies got it right? Mostly, they did NOT!


You’ve seen it in a dozen sci-fi movies – a gigantic explosion when the Death Star combusts. Not really possible as space is a vacuum, and lacks the oxygen needed to burn. Similarly, the humongous noise?

Remember the line: ‘In space, no one can hear you scream’ – silence is golden.

Five weird and wonderful space myths - exploded



Space without a spacesuit is a one-way ticket to instant termination? Not really.

Unlike many sci-fi movies where human eyeballs pop out of their cranium, in fact, as director Stanley Kubrick correctly showcased in 2001: A Space Odyssey, a human being can survive exposure to space with no permanent damage – but don’t hang about out there, ok?!

Five weird and wonderful space myths - exploded



Sorry, Pink Floyd, but there is light on the other side – maybe not as bright, but enough to find your way.



What colour is the sun? Instantly, you’ll probably say yellow, correct? Wrong.

 Despite multiple images depicting the sun to be a burning yellow, the real colour is white.

 Also, the sun is actually glowing, not burning – so delete those flames from your drawing.

 Five weird and wonderful space myths - exploded



Most movies portray an asteroid belt as similar to the Kinsale roundabout at 5pm on a Friday evening - death and destruction coming at you in colossal quantity with not an inch to spare. In fact, space is big – really, really big – so a close escape can be around 100,000 miles.

You know what isn’t a space myth? That over the next four years, Ireland will spend over €300m on space activities!

We may not be sending astronauts into space with rocket launches in the Phoenix Park - but that doesn’t mean we can’t provide pretty much everything that’s needed to get them there. Just ask the 40 Irish companies that are doing it already.

Think about it - it’s hardly (just) rocket science!

Each nut, bolt, piece of electrical wiring must be manufactured and delivered. Suitable clothing must be fabricated and specialised food prepared and packaged. Legal, financial, banking and accounting services - even agricultural and maritime activities - all have important roles to play.

Treemetrics are already successfully servicing the industry.
Treemetrics are already successfully servicing the industry.

Ireland has even increased its contribution to the European Space Agency (ESA) which will see the number of Irish space sector jobs rise from 40 to 1,000 in the next three years.

Now any Irish company that wants to become a part of a €300bn global industry can learn all they need to know as the International Space University’s 30th Space Studies Program (SSP17) - the biggest space event to ever come to Ireland or the UK - touches down in Cork for the next nine weeks.

Former astronauts Dan Tani and Jeffrey Hoffman.
Former astronauts Dan Tani and Jeffrey Hoffman.

Twenty  international space experts from 26 different countries will be on hand, examining all aspects of space and its related enterprises; including environment, climate, energy, transport, telecommunications, security & defence, border control, civil protection, migration, marine and maritime activities, agriculture, education, manufacturing, data analytics, health & leisure activities, law and architecture.

By the end of it all, a whitepaper entitled ‘A Roadmap for Building a Strong Space Industry’ which will be presented to Irish Government at the closing ceremony on August 25. It will become a legacy document will inform a National Space Strategy and act as a guide for for how to grow our space industry.

New opportunities don’t appear on the horizon that often, but this promises to be one of those occasions where the sky is no longer the limit for Irish companies.

For more info, click here



Ovarian cancer has been dubbed ‘the silent killer’. Christina Henry tells Rowena Walsh why she is one of the lucky onesAgeing with attitude: Life after ovarian cancer

As almost a father of two, Donal Skehan has realised that in order to survive with young children, quick and easy meals are key, writes Ciara McDonnell.Donal Skehan's newest recipes are quick and easy

Jamie Oliver is on a mission to get everyone eating more vegetables with the release of his new book, Veg.A selection of recipes from Jamie Oliver's new book Veg

More From The Irish Examiner