Former astronaut proves “an Inspiration” to IOM Space Sector

January 8, 2015 By

Col Ron Garan

Col Ron Garan

One of America’s most respected former astronauts was guest of honour at a flagship event held by the world renowned Isle of Man based International Institute of Space Commerce (IISC), an organisation within which Cavendish Trust Non-Executive Director Tim Craine continues to play a prominent role.

Colonel Ron Garan, a highly decorated fighter pilot, explorer and entrepreneur, who flew on both the US Space Shuttle and the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, spoke to more than 70 guests at the IISC’s inaugural fundraising dinner held in the Claremont Hotel, Douglas.

During his career, Col. Garan spent a total of 178 days in space, including four space walks totalling 27 hours. In all, he travelled over 71 million miles, orbiting the Earth 2,842 times. During the presentation, based around his forthcoming book ‘The Orbital Perspective’, he referred to the privileges of being in space and the lessons learned from applying technology and ingenuity within the most testing of environments.

He is also an experienced aquanaut and participated in a joint NASA-NOAA NEEMO-9 mission, an exploration research project held in Aquarius, the world’s only undersea research laboratory, spending 18 continuous days living and working on the ocean floor.

Now retired, Col. Garan is closely involved with a number of humanitarian projects, primarily in Africa, providing essential low maintenance equipment, like water pumps, for impoverished communities. “The same engineers who created the air purification systems for the International Space Station also created and installed a water purification system in Rwanda,” Col. Garan explained to the audience.

Tim said Col. Garan’s talk had been an inspiration. “For the IISC to be able to attract someone of Col.Garan’s calibre is a testament to how far the Isle of Man’s space industry has developed in recent years. He vividly demonstrated the great steps taken by mankind in space exploration. Today, the Island is a world class jurisdiction in the field of space commerce and technology and I have no doubt that his experiences will serve to galvanise the many Companies on the Isle of Man associated with the space and satellite sector,”.

The IISC is the world’s leading think tank and authority on space commerce and is an integral part of the International Space University in Strasbourg, France. Earlier this year, the Institute’s work was highlighted at the US Academy of Sciences and the White House, where it was invited to present a paper on Private Finance Initiatives for the Funding of Space Science.

Tim has been an IISC Director since its launch and Cavendish has for a number of years been one of an exclusive few trust companies qualified to provide all-inclusive solutions to international space companies operated from or covered by the Isle of Man’s jurisdiction.