Space events will provide a 'Big Bang'

Wigtown Festival Company presents ‘Big Bang’ from March 3-6, a series of free online events dedicating to conquering the final frontier.

Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 2:03 pm
Dr Christina Mackaill

Dr Christina Mackaill will present ‘The Space Doctor Is In’ on March 5 at 7.30pm.

Her regular job is in a hospital A&E department, but her other focus is planning how to treat sick or injured astronauts.

Dr Mackaill has authored two papers on extra-terrestrial CPR and co-developed a ‘gravity-defying’ method. She has ambitions to go into space herself and applied to the European Space Agency.

She founded Scotland’s first space medicine society in 2016 and is currently collaborating with NASA on a paper about emergency medicine in space.

Dr Mackaill said: “With Moon and Mars missions on the way and a burgeoning of space tourism coming soon we have to be able to deal with medical emergencies in space.

“There are no hospitals, no ambulances and often no doctors available. One of the things we are looking at is how doctors need to respond if they are rushed into Mission Control and need to talk the crew of a spaceship.”

Astrophotographer Helena Cochrane (16) from Wigtown will be taking part in ‘Reach for the Stars’ on March 6 at 5pm.

Helena set up a YouTube channel with thousands of followers which charted her progress from being an absolute beginner.

She said: “Taking deep space pictures is a challenging task and I realised there wasn’t a lot out there for beginners to learn from. So, I decided to set up a YouTube channel so people could follow what it was like for me as I started to learn.”

US space professional Kellie Gerardi will discuss her hopes the new age of space travel will be open to all during ‘Not Necessarily Rocket Science’ on March 3 at 5pm.

She said: ““The first flights were about function, in the future it will be a lot more about experience. I look forward to the time when the poets, the artists, and the musicians, come back and share their experiences.”

Other participants at Big Bang include best-selling science writer Brian Clegg, Northern Lights expert Dr Nathan Case and astrophysicist Joe Zuntz from the Royal Observatory.

For full details visit www.wigtownbookfestival.com.