An Interview With Ireland’s First Astronaut And Space Tourist

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In late 2007 or early 2008 Irish entrepreneur, Tom Higgins, 46, will become the first Irishman to travel into space. He will make the trip on board a commercial spaceship, built and operated by Virgin Galactic (http://www.virgingalactic.com/), the world’s first space tourism company owned by British business tycoon, Sir Richard Branson.

Born 5 November 1958, in the rural town of Naas, in County Kildare, Tom is married with two children and is probably best known as the colourful boss of Ireland’s leading telephone psychic service, Irish Psychics Live. In a recent interview about the service, which he founded in 1998, Tom revealed that he has been an avid space fan for as long as he can remember. An enthusiast of 1960’s television science fiction series such as Dr. Who, Star Trek, The Invaders, Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, and The Time Tunnel, Tom says he remembers “like it was yesterday”, watching Neil Armstrong become the first man in history to set foot on the surface of the moon.
“I saw those first ghostly black and white TV images and was hooked. I decided that if it ever became possible, I would be the first Irish person to venture into space. When, as an eleven year old, I made this declaration to my folks I’m sure they must have thought I had several screws loose!”


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