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€670m satellite to be named after Swords boy Adam, 10

Adam Vaughan is the Irish winner of a pan-European competition to have a new navigational satellite named after him.

Adam Vaughan poses with a model of the Galileo satellite that will be named after him.
Adam Vaughan poses with a model of the Galileo satellite that will be named after him.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

MANY OF US are tickled by the notion of travelling into space – or even owning a piece of memorabilia that has travelled beyond the boundaries of our planet.

Now, one Irish 10-year-old can claim the next best thing – by having a €670 million satellite named after him.

Adam Vaughan, from Swords, won the right to have a Galileo satellite named after him after winning an art competition on the theme of space and aeronautics.

His drawing ‘The Solar System’ was deemed the winner by a panel of judges including illustrator Don Conroy and Astonomy Ireland’s David Moore.

Similar competitions were held in parallel in each of the 27 European Union member states, with the winner in each gaining the right to have one of the 30 satellites named after them.

Other winners who will have satellites named after them include Thijs (11) from Belgium, and Natalia (9) from Bulgaria.

The Galileo project – an endeavour of the European Space Agency – is costing around €20 billion in total, and will see 30 new satellites launched into orbit over the next seven years.

The constellation of satellites will offer a European alternative to navigational satellites used by the US military, Russia and China – each of which could potentially be shut down in times of international conflict.

The provision of the Galileo network – which will be made available for free use by civilians, as well as EU militaries – will ensure that devices like sat-navs and other GPS systems can work without the assistance of the US, Chinese or Russian satellites.

In a technological advance, the new breed of satellites will also facilitate two-way communication – with the satellites being able to detect distress signals sent by a user’s device, and then relay another message that assistance has been summoned.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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