The great thing about being a part of the External Relations team at the International Space University’s (ISU) Space Studies Program (#SSP17) is all the great adventures I get to attend! The #SSP17 Humanities department left Cork, Ireland at crazy o’clock in the morning to embrace our best Irish Indiana Jones for the day at Lough Gur. At about an hour and a half drive from Cork we reached Lough Gur. Just 21k from Limerick, this ancient archaeological site is teeming with history! With records dating back to the Stone Age, we traveled back in time to start our journey at the Great Grange stone circle.
Known in Celtic Irish, “Lios na Grainsi” translates to “Stones of the Sun.” The structure roughly stands 47.5 meters in diameter with 133 stones; this is the largest stone structure in Ireland.
After the historic introduction to this mysterious area, we headed to the Lough Gur Heritage Centre. With gorgeous sweeping water views, we entered a world of philosophical concepts.
Presentations from ISU lectures, Kerrie Dougherty, Samantha Coras, Frank Prendergast, Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides and Kate Harrold ranged from how the Irish as well as other ancient cultures looked toward the cosmos for inspiration. We also discovered how to create a closed-loop green community meaning what we take from the environment is completely repurposed and reused. Framework like this would be necessary for human life to exist on Mars and the participants created and presented their own ideal habitat system during the workshop.
We also had a taste of what astronauts call the “Overview Effect,” gaining our own “Orbital Perspective” from right here on Earth.
A few of us (aka: myself) blew off some steam to have a little bit of fun with customary Irish costumes. Using the scenery as an incredible backdrop, we became Irish superheroes for a few minutes before returning back our normal everyday Earth-bound selves…
A girl gone walkabout in the great big world!