Ireland will become the first international research partner of US space agency NASA.

The announcement officially made at Trinity College Dublin, will allow Irish science undergraduates to work at NASA’s research facilities. This could also lead to a move to send Ireland’s first astronaut into space.

The Irish Times reports that talks about this move have been going on for two years between the Irish Consulate, in San Francisco, and NASA.

This news came as the Euroscience Open Forum was launched in Dublin. The scientific research and innovation gathering opened at the Dublin Convention Centre and is one of the most popular events in the year-long Dublin City of Science festival.

A host of speakers will take part in more than 140 sessions between Wednesday and Sunday. Nasa administrator Charles Bolden Jr and CERN director general Professor Rolf Dieter Heuer will be among the speakers.

Astronomy Ireland have organized a lecture in Trinity College Dublin from Professor Heuer. He will deliver a keynote address at 2.45pm on Saturday at the Convention Centre, and take part in a Q&A session at the Royal Irish Academy.

NASA administrator Charles Frank Bolden, JrGoogle Images