‘It’s a bit vulgar. It’s hard to watch. As someone who wants to go to space, I’ve had to rethink my motivations for it’

The idea of space being a plaything for billionaires is off-putting to one of Ireland’s best hopes of a first ever astronaut

Dr Niamh Shaw: ‘If I had the money, I’d do it but I wouldn’t feel I’d satisfied my life’s mission to be an astronaut.’ Picture: Naoise Culhane

At around 2pm Irish time on Sunday, Virgin Galactic will take Richard Branson and the rest of its crew into space. Well, sort of, as the definition of space has become somewhat blurrier than it ought to be in recent times.

The event is going to grab a lot of eyeballs, it has already generated plenty of attention, and drawn away some of the focus on Blue Origin’s launch on July 20, which will include ...