Aimed at Engineers, IT professionals and network industry personnel, courses are set to equip Irish firms to develop commercial applications for the fast-growing global space economy. 
20 June — The National Space Centre (NSC) has launched Ireland’s first Space Academy, a pioneering educational initiative aimed at Engineers, IT professionals, and network industry personnel. Supported by Space Industry Skillnet, an enterprise-led training network for Irish companies delivering technology and services to the global space market, this innovative curriculum is designed to equip Irish firms with the skills necessary to develop commercial applications within the rapidly growing space economy.
The NSC Space Academy offers a comprehensive range of courses spanning from one to five days and specifically tailored to provide a core understanding of space communications and satellite applications. “More spacecraft were launched in 2023 than in the entire prior 50 years of the space age,” explained Bruce Hannah, CTO at National Space Centre and Head of Education at the Space Academy. “There are over 10,000 satellites now orbiting Earth, delivering data for industries ranging from communications to humanitarian aid. The commercial landscape for space communication and satellite applications is a huge opportunity for Ireland’s technology and engineering companies.”
Courses are based on site at the National Space Centre in Elfordstown, Cork. The NSC is home to the 32-meter Big Dish, an iconic piece of Irish telecommunications history and the origin of satellite communications development in Europe. Today the site is home to myriad groundstations for satellite applications and space communications, offering students an exciting and richly relevant context for their studies.
Among the unique course offerings is the one-day Space Applications Project Day, a team-building event focused on the supported conception, drafting, and design of a commercial space application. This hands-on experience encourages innovation and collaboration, key elements in driving the future of space technology.
More traditional courses include Satellite System Architecture, Radio Signals and Network Design for Space Communications, and Commercial and Non-Commercial Space Applications. Completion of five Space Academy modules will qualify learners for the newly accredited NSC Space Academy Certification in Space Engineering Essentials.
Courses are supported by Space Industry Skillnet, which offers a limited number of subsidies for course costs for employees of private companies, sole traders and consultants. All courses are also eligible for Continuing Professional Development credits for those who need CPD hours.
Courses are offered six times a year and dates, registration information and enrollment can be found at
IMAGE CAPTION: Bruce Hannah, CTO at National Space Centre and Head of Education at the newly launch NSC Space Academy, stands before Ireland’s 32-metre Big Dish. The dish is part of the tour of groundstations and space communications equipment for all course participants taking part in the NSC’s new education initiative.
Sabrina Dent
Head of Marketing and Business Development
National Space Centre
085 702 8212
 The National Space Centre (NSC) is Europe’s most westerly teleport and Ireland’s only commercial ground station. Opened as Elfordstown Earthstation in 1984 at a cost of IR£8M (€25M today), the facility celebrated ten years of operation as the NSC in 2020. The company provides commercial broadcast services, ground control support for satellites and space craft, academic research partnerships and space industry consulting. The NSC’s co-located Space Campus is home to more than a dozen Irish space startups and EU-headquartered space enterprises.
Space Industry Skillnet is an enterprise-led training network for Irish companies who are, or who want to be, involved in the delivery of technology and services to the global space market, including the European Space Agency. The objective of Space Industry Skillnet is to encourage and enable more Irish companies to consider the space industry as a truly commercial opportunity and to provide them with the skills to grow their business and succeed in a fast-changing industry. It is the space industry network of Skillnet Ireland, the national agency dedicated to the promotion and facilitation of workforce learning in Ireland. Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.