NI SPACE Congratulates Northern Ireland’s First Ever Astronaut 

ROBERT Hill, Space Advisor and Cluster Manager at NI SPACE has spoken out to congratulate Belfast native, Rosemary Coogan, who graduated European Space Agency (ESA) training, today (Monday 22nd April), and awaits assignment on her first mission. 

An historical occasion for Northern Ireland, Rosemary has spent the past year at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, where she underwent rigorous training after being selected from over 22,500 applicants in 2022. 

Aged 33, Rosemary is now fully trained to conduct scientific experiments onboard the International Space Station and along with her fellow graduates, is included in the first batch of new recruits to the ESA in 13 years. 

“On behalf of the team at NI SPACE, we would like to offer our sincerest congratulations to Rosemary on what is a truly momentous occasion for the space sector in Northern Ireland,” Robert said. 

“Northern Ireland is quickly becoming a global leader in the sector and has been involved in a number of high-profile projects recently including the James Webb Space Telescope, and to have Rosemary representing Northern Ireland as our first-ever astronaut is the icing on top of the cake. 

“With rapid expansions in science and technology that enable us to explore more of our universe, there has never been a more exciting time to be part of the space sector. We hope that Rosemary’s appointment to the ESA will inspire more and more young people in Northern Ireland to consider a career in the industry which provides endless opportunities. 

“We’re really looking forward to following Rosemary’s journey and will be cheering her on during her first mission.” 

NI SPACE is a regional cluster that has been established to promote and support regional capabilities in both the national and international space sector. For more information on its work, visit the website: