A WEST Cork photographic artist who is set to become the first Irish person in space said she cried when she was selected to go on the SpaceX civilian trip around the moon.
Rhiannon Adam from Ballinadee, who lives between London and LA, applied for the dearMoon Project which saw over 1m people expressing an interest, with only eight selected. The 11 will take part in the first civilian lunar orbital mission – dearMoon – which is being funded by Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa.
The trip is expected to take up to a week, some time next year. ‘When I discovered that I was selected, I cried. And I’m not usually much of a crier. I think it was overwhelming and had seemed just so impossible ... it didn’t seem real,’ said Rhiannon, who added that she is ‘beyond ecstatic’ about it.
During the pandemic she came across dearMoon on Twitter, which seemed to touch on so many topics replicated in her own work.
‘I spend a lot of my life working with remote communities and felt that was a natural thing to do, to go to the most remote community ever – which would be us in space!’
Rhiannon grew up on a boat, sailing around the world with her parents, and felt connected to so many countries that she visited. ‘When I was selected to go on the mission, my first thought was fear, as I really value my anonymity and I like to hide behind my work – I’m used to being on the other side.
‘My mum is really excited about it, too, and I think my family won’t wholly believe me until they are sitting in a friends-and-family room watching the launch.’ Because there is no departure date yet, the training hasn’t yet begun. As an openly queer person on the mission, she said she hopes to inspire young queer kids who feel invisible or bullied.
Rhiannon, who attended Bandon Bridge NS, has been shortlisted for, and won, numerous creative awards, and is also the author of three books.