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30th May 2020

A Dublin company is playing a major role in tonight’s SpaceX rocket launch

James Fenton

Dubliners joined the rest of the world on Wednesday evening to witness the historic launch of Elon Musk and NASA’s SpaceX rocket.

Alas, poor weather led to the postponement of the SpaceX launch just minutes before its scheduled lift off from Florida. All going well, the launch will take place today instead, with the rocket set to begin its journey to the International Space Station at around about 8.22pm Irish time. If the skies remain clear, it’s expected to be visible to Dubliners about 10 or 15 minutes later as it passes under the moon.

To be fair, we’re owed a decent look as none of this would be taking place without the help of Dublin-based company Skytek. The company has some core technology onboard that gives astronauts the instructions on how to carry out their tasks from docking with the space station to putting on safety gear.

Skytek’s IPV Tablet system will be used to provide advanced astronaut support on the International Space Station (ISS). With the system, astronauts will have access to over 14,000 operational procedures, which support all operational activities on board. Skytek founder Dr Sarah Bourke said: “It’s very exciting to see our software being used in ISS missions, not least a pioneering one like this.” She added that “Skytek have been working directly with NASA to develop the software that will support these commercial businesses as they begin manned missions.”

SpaceX, also known as Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, is a private space transportation company which was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled this evening to see a little bit of Dublin passing through the sky.