ISU SSP17 Space Humanities Looking Toward the Cosmos


“The International Space University’s Space Studies Program SSP17 Space Humanities (HUM) department embraced their best Irish Indiana Jones for a day at Lough Gur.  Just 21km from Limerick, Lough Gur is an ancient archaeological site 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 47.5m in diameter with 133 stones; this is the largest stone structure in Ireland.  

SSP17 HUM2After 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 lecturers, Kerrie Dougherty, Samantha Coras, Frank Prendergast, Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides and Kate Harrold ranged from how the local Irish as well as other ancient cultures looked toward the cosmos for inspiration on how to create a closed-loop green community.  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.” Reports Tara Foster, ISU SSP17 External Relations Assistant.