Limerick's cutting-edge institutions have helped shape Ireland's first astronaut. Discover Norah's story.
Dr. Norah Patten is a University of Limerick based scientist, author and potentially Ireland’s first astronaut.
“When I was 11, I got to go and visit NASA in Cleveland, Ohio and I remember coming home after the visit and thinking space is the coolest thing ever. My friends thought I was mad but there you go. From that moment, that seed of interest was placed in my brain.
Space back in the 80’s and 90’s in Ireland was impossible, it was something I loved and something I really wanted to get involved in. I don't tend to give up on things if I have a big idea or a big plan. Even as a child, if there was something I wanted to go after, I would go after it.
I can remember when I was in transition year I did a lot of research into different courses and programs that I could do and then I saw they had aeronautical engineering in the University of Limerick and I thought, ‘this is super cool, I want to do that’.
I love being in the University of Limerick because I love to learn and I think for me I'll be a lifetime learner so that's why its a really nice environment.
What I value most about Limerick is the people and, because I've been adopted to Limerick since I moved to college, I've spent most of my adult life in Limerick.
I think the quality of life that you can have in Limerick is distinctive for a city, the needs of everybody can be met. Its very close to the airport. There are many layers to why I think in the future it will become a very enterprising city”