Fermanagh in Space. One of Fermanagh’s Cassidys is the 500 person in space.

Neil Armstrong. Armstrongs from Fermanagh of which Neil Armstrong is perhaps the most famous of that family. His family link is this: – Armstrongs evicted as Border Reivers from Scotland to Ireland came to Fermanagh and among their descendants was Robert Armstrong of Lisnaskea, a brother of the grandfather of Neil Armstrong, the first man to step on the moon. In addition to Lisnaskea he also has Irvinestown ancestors in County Fermanagh.

Neil Armstrong1Neil Armstrong

Christa McAuliffe nee Corrigan, U.S. Astronaut. The name Corrigan is a Fermanagh name centered to the south and east of Enniskillen from whom all the Corrigans of the World take their name. If you are a Corrigan anywhere you originate in Fermanagh. Christa McAuliffe (September 2, 1948 – January 28, 1986) was an American teacher from Concord, New Hampshire, and was one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. She received her bachelor’s degree in education and history from Framingham State College in 1970, and also a Master of Arts from Bowie State University in 1978. In 1985, McAuliffe was selected from more than 11,000 applicants to participate in the NASA Teacher in Space Project and was scheduled to become the first teacher in space. As a member of mission STS-51-L, she was planning to conduct experiments and teach two lessons from Space Shuttle Challenger. On January 28, 1986, the spacecraft disintegrated 73 seconds after launch. After McAuliffe’s death, schools and scholarships were named in her honour, and also in 2004 she was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honour.


Major General Harry George Armstrong, physician and airman, recognised as a pioneer in the field of aviation medicine, the ‘Armstrong Limit’ being named after him. This refers to the altitude; about 12 miles up in the atmosphere, where the pressure is so low that water boils at body temperature and airmen would die without a pressure space suit.

Christopher John “Chris” Cassidy (born January 4, 1970, Salem, Massachusetts, United States) is a NASA astronaut and Navy SEAL. He resides in York, Maine with his wife, Julie Byrd, and their three children. His first space flight was on Space Shuttle mission STS-127, and his second was on Soyuz TMA-08M. He is currently (31 March 2013) in space as a flight engineer for Expedition 35/36. His specializations in military tactics include long-range special reconnaissance (vehicular and foot patrols), direct action building assaults, non-compliant ship-boardings, desert reconnaissance patrols, combat diving, underwater explosives, and a variety of air operations, including parachuting, fast roping, and rappelling. He made four six-month deployments: two to Afghanistan, and two to the Mediterranean Sea. Cris Cassidy

NASA career. Cassidy was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in May 2004. He was a Mission Specialist on STS-127, and performed a total of three space walks to help install and complete components of the Japanese Experiment Module. Cassidy has been assigned to the Expedition 35 crew as a flight engineer and flew to the ISS aboard Soyuz TMA-08M (US designation: 34S), which launched on March 28, 2013. He is scheduled to participate in two US space walks from the ISS in June/July 2013.

Chris Cassidy is also the 500th person in space. He achieved this by being the designated crew member by the rest of his crew mates, during the STS-127 mission. In June and July 2013 in two space walks he will be looking down on Fermanagh, his ancestral homeland – home also to the 2013 G8 Conference.