Ireland has its first ever ESA Space Champion and it's someone fans of Home School Hub and regular readers of RTÉ Learn know very well - congratulations Dr Niamh Shaw!

Whether it's on TV, online or coming live from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Niamh's love of sharing her love of all things space is being recognised.

Here, Niamh tells us more about what it all involves...

The European Space Agency (ESA) Champions initiative was set-up last year to honour outstanding contributions to space advocacy in Europe.

I am one of 15 people to get this commendation by ESA and am Ireland's only space expert to receive the title in the Space Education category.

This award recognises my work in communicating space to the general public in schools, through articles, events and Home School Hub, as well as reporting on ESA's activities - which include the last two launches of ESA astronauts to the ISS.

I’m absolutely delighted to receive this award. For me to be recognised by ESA for my passion for space is one of the highest honours I could receive. I’m very lucky to be doing a job that I absolutely love. Messages of support and congratulations have been pouring in and this response has been just as special for me as winning the award.

Listen to Niamh speaking to Cormac from Drivetime from 2 hours 22 minutes!

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences
The initiative recognised individuals across five categories, which were video, art, education, storytelling and public speaking. An internal panel within ESA went through thousands of candidates and from the shortlist, ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher worked with the team in selecting the 15 awardees.

Thank you everyone. I shall continue to bring you reports of my adventures across the world as I cover the latest news and updates on all things space! I share all my activities on my website where you can subscribe to my new ‘Space News’ newsletter.

You can look back at some of Niamh's great work here!