On July 12th 2018, a group of dignitaries visited the UCD Space Science Lab (Room 328 in Science North). Hosted by Dr. Antonio Martin-Carrillo and David Murphy, the visitors were shown the Telescope Operations Centre, from which they could see the view from the webcams installed in and around the Watcher building at Boyden Observatory, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
The guests were extremely interested to hear about our long term collaboration with the University of the Free State in South Africa. They were also informed about our nanosatellite project, EIRSAT-1, and our spin-out company Parameter Space Ltd.
The visitors included: Trevor Manuel, special economic envoy and former minister of finance in Nelson Mandela’s first post-apartheid government; Irish ambassador to South Africa, His Excellency Liam MacGabhann and His Excellency Mr Ahlangene Cyprian Sigcau, South African ambassador to Ireland.
Their visit to UCD formed part of a wider initiative of the South African government that includes meeting with Irish companies and commemorating 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The opening of the Nelson Mandela centenary exhibition at Kilmainham Gaol Museum in Dublin is a highlight of the visit.