A Glenavy man is over the moon after after getting a job working for NASA.
Stephen Taylor, 26, who studied Physics at Oxford before completing a PhD at Cambridge, applied to the space agency last year.
Months later, after several interviews and pitching ideas he was offered a post doctoral research post.
Stephen, a former Wallace High pupil, said he was thrilled with the news although it was a bittersweet as his grandmother was buried on the same day.
Stephen said: “After completing my PHD I knew I wanted to continue my research and applied to as many posts as I could, including universitys too.
“It was a really long process and involved four monhhs of hard work and patience but it was worth it when I got offered my dream job, although the same day we buried my grandmother Norah.”
Stephen, who is the son of Doreen and Stephen snr, says he is daunted but excited by the prospect of moving to Pasedena, just outside Los Angeles where he will start work at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in October.
Talking about his new post Stephen said: “My job is to study the Universe and to ask what we might learn about it with observations in the next few years.
“As such, I’m very inquisitive and have always been rather fixated on trying to understand and solve problems.”
Stephen who will be in the post for three years added: “I have the freedom to ask fantastical questions, study the Universe, visit wonderful parts of the world, and interact with some of the cleverest people on the planet. My personal hope is that I can make a genuinely important contribution to science which will allow a deeper understanding of the natural world.”