TARA stems from a 2009/10 pilot between CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory and the Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland, CA called Web of Stars which took advantage of the time difference between California and Ireland.
TARA was officially launched on March 17, 2013 by San Francisco Mayor, Edwin Lee, on his first official trip outside the USA.
TARA builds on global citizenship projects that utilise astronomy and space science such as EarthDay (Cork and California elementary students explored climate change with lead NASA scientist Dr Claire Parker through a Digital Learning Network) andCapture the Cosmos(Cork primary schools learnt about astronomy and created beautiful works of astronomical art, which were exhibited and auctioned by NASA astronaut Dan Tani to raise funds for telescopes for the Universe Awareness programme in Tanzania).
TARA is a 2 way mutually beneficial exchange allowing shared access to resources.
TARA will create a communication network of SpacePals, utilising technology to bring penpals into the 21st century.