Space journalist, radio broadcaster and news reporter

Leo Enright

Starting as a schoolboy space commentator in the 1960s, Leo Enright has broadcast live commentaries on every major space event since the first Moon landing and as a foreign correspondent with RTE and the BBC was accredited to the White House under every administration from Gerald Ford to George W. Bush.

His history of the Apollo Programme was published in The Encyclopaedia of Space Travel and Astronomy (co-authored with Prof. Carl Sagan, Sir Bernard Lovell and others), and in 1978 he was elected Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society.

He is a former Chairman of the Irish Government’s science awareness programme, Discover Science and Engineering, and a member of the Board of Governors of the School of Cosmic Physics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

Leo is one of a handful of journalists in the world who has covered the Space Shuttle programme since it began. When the Shuttle project was first announced in 1972, Leo was at Mission Control in Houston. He was also present in Cape Canaveral in 1981 when the first shuttle Columbia launched and was standing in the desert when the shuttle landed back in California. When NASA launched Atlantis, the final shuttle launch, Leo was there for that too. He is a recognised expert on the exploration of the planet Mars.

Leo Enright is a former Head of Radio News with the Irish national broadcaster, RTÉ. He was the network’s Middle East Correspondent, before taking up posts as North America correspondent and later London Correspondent.

Most recently, he has been the BBC’s correspondent in Ireland for more than a decade, before resigning to concentrate on personal projects in the area of public understanding of science. He continues to broadcast regularly on BBC radio and television and on RTÉ, and regularly contributes articles to national newspapers in Britain and Ireland.

He is in a unique position to discuss the importance of Reliability in the space industry and the catastrophic consequences of failure.