12.06.2023 change 12.06.2023

Head of NASA visits Polish Space Agency

Photo from press release Photo from press release

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson discussed Poland's participation in future American projects during a visit to the Polish Space Agency (POLSA) in Warsaw. He also met with students - participants of the European Rover Challenge competition.

Nelson's meeting at POLSA was part of his two-day official visit to Poland.

The meeting was also attended by the US Ambassador to Poland, Mark Brzezinski and was devoted primarily to strengthening cooperation and talks about Poland's participation in future American projects. The American delegation also met with students of Polish technical universities, participants of the international competition European Rover Challenge.

POLSA president Professor Grzegorz Wrochna said: 'Thanking the Polish Space Agency for its activity so far, the NASA Administrator emphasized that we are in the golden age of space exploration and Poles must be represented in it. 

‘He also noted that the directions of development of POLSA and the Polish space sector are part of NASA's plans, so joint projects are just a matter of time.

'It is a great honour that we can host NASA Administrator and astronaut Bill Nelson at POLSA. I would like Poland not to be a passive observer of NASA's activities, but to be much more actively involved in them than before. This visit is an important step in this direction.’

According to the NASA administrator, Poland is a valued partner and ally thanks to its accession to the Artemis Accords in October 2021. The program, in which 25 countries are currently participating, gives the opportunity to participate in multilateral NASA programs, including those related to the exploration of Moon and Mars.

The cooperation between POLSA and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), launched in 2022, is also of great importance to Poland. 'As part of it, areas of competence have been identified in which Polish entities already have solutions attractive to NASA, including miniature measuring instruments, elements of robotics and automation, advanced system and analytical software, including artificial intelligence solutions. Polish-American working groups have already begun work on these solutions,’ Wrochna said. 

Poland has been actively participating in NASA missions for years. One example is the use of Polish instruments on board NASA's Mars Curiosity rover and ARTEMIS 1, where the Orion capsule carried radiation sensors designed at the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission is planned for 2025, also with the participation of a Polish instrument - Global Solar Wind Structure (GLOWS), designed and built at the Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The photometer will study the effect of the solar wind on the hydrogen gas in the heliosphere.

During the meeting at the Polish Space Agency, Ambassador Mark Brzezinski emphasised that Poland was becoming a centre that developed innovations of the future. 

One of the points of the visit was also the meeting of the American delegation with students of Polish technical universities, participants of the international competition European Rover Challenge, who presented award-winning planetary rovers and rocket solutions. Among the participants were representatives of the Poznań University of Technology with ExoMy and 1 Husky rovers, Rzeszów University of Technology with Legendary, and the AGH University of Science and Technology and the Universeh Project, who brought their Beta rocket.

POLSA reports that the program of the NASA Administrator's visit also included a meeting with representatives of the Polish space sector who presented their products and services; among them were: Astronika, Space Research Centre PAA, CloudFerro, Creotech, ELPROMA, KP Labs, PIAP Space, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Saule, Scanway, SENER, Syderal, ŚBŁ ILOT, Silesian Science and Technology Centre, The Batteries, Vigo Photonics and WiRan.

The last point of Bill Nelson's visit to Poland was a meeting with young people at the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw. (PAP)

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