26.06.2023 change 26.06.2023

Polish mission to Moon's orbit possible by end of decade

Credit: Adobe Stock Credit: Adobe Stock

The Polish Space Agency estimates that by the end of the decade it may launch the first Polish orbital Moon mission. It would involve a vehicle that would search for certain minerals on the Silver Globe from the lunar orbit, the president of POLSA, Professor Grzegorz Wrochna told PAP.

POLSA is trying to activate the funds reserved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Tourism this year. These funds will allow it to start preparatory work for the Polish orbital mission around the Moon.

'After consultations and brainstorming with companies, universities and institutes, we came to the conclusion that the first Polish mission to the Moon could be an orbiter that would scan the surface with infrared beams in search of minerals, especially those from which water, hydrogen, oxygen could be obtained, the elements that are most needed to establish bases,.’ said Professor Wrochna.

He added that the Polish lunar rover program was still on track, but the orbiter could be constructed relatively quickly, the measuring equipment was already being tested on Earth, and certainly before the end of the decade such a vehicle could be in lunar orbit.

He continued: ’Of course, we need Americans to deliver it there, and this was one of the topics of recent talks with NASA Administrator Bill Nelson during his visit to Poland. Nelson could see with his own eyes how the Polish space sector was developing, and cooperation with the American agency is becoming more promising.’

In 2021, POLSA signed the Artemis Accords declaration, which opened the way to participate in the Artemis program, i.e. manned flights to the Moon. 'We are still in discussions about the goals and technical details of future missions to the Moon, but also to Mars,’ Wrochna said. 

In the coming months, NASA will announce a competition for the scientific instruments that the manned Artemis missions will take to the Moon. 'We intend to participate in this competition by integrating the activities of Polish industry and research units in order to build and deliver a device to the Silver Globe,’ Wrochna said. In his opinion, there is little time and the Artemis 3 mission planned for the end of 2025 is an unlikely goal, but Artemis 4, which is to be launched in 2028 - absolutely.

The competition is open, but NASA does not specify the type of equipment. 'It would certainly have to be something that would bring added value. This approach is intended to encourage scientists around the world to come up with something innovative themselves. I hope that such ideas will appear in Poland. The Polish space sector started with designing and building research equipment, so we have potential,’ he added.

PAP - Science in Poland

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