Matt Molloy Joins Cady Coleman for Launch of Space Exploration Stamps

Cady Coleman and Matt Molloy at the GPO, Dublin (Photo: Maxwell Photography)

Matt Molloy Joins Cady Coleman for Launch of Space Exploration Stamps

Chieftains flute-player performs with NASA astronaut at General Post Office in Dublin.

NASA astronaut Cady Coleman and flute-player Matt Molloy performed at the GPO yesterday for the launch of An Post’s four new space exploration stamps.

The stamps celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the first moon landing and feature four US astronauts with Irish ancestry: Coleman, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Eileen Collins.

Coleman is a veteran of two space shuttle missions, most recently in 2011 when she brought a flute belonging to Matt Molloy and a tin whistle belonging to Paddy Moloney into space and recorded a video playing the traditional tune ‘An Ghaoth Aneas’ and Carolan’s ‘Fanny Power’. She also recorded a video with Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson and tracks for The Chieftains’ 50th anniversary album.

At the launch yesterday, Coleman and Molloy gave a spontaneous performance of the ‘The Butterfly’ slip-jig. They then went to see the Apollo 11 film followed by a visit to the Cobblestone traditional music bar.

Commenting on the publication of the stamps, Coleman said the recognition is ‘important for other people, particularly women and people of colour, who can see me on a stamp and think that they too could be this person. Katherine Johnson, Bessie Coleman and Sally Ride were pioneers of flight and of space exploration.’

Coleman has Irish heritage on both sides of her family and has spent more than 4,330 hours in space aboard the space shuttle Columbia and the International Space Station. Eileen Collins is the daughter of immigrants from Cork and became the first woman to pilot a space shuttle mission during the Discovery’s rendezvous with the space station Mir in 1995. By 1999, she was given command of the shuttle Columbia. Neil Armstrong’s family have roots in Fermanagh and Michael Collins’ grandfather emigrated from Dunmanway in County Cork in the 1860s.

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Published on 19 July 2019

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