Polish astronaut will fly to the International Space Station
A Polish astronaut will take part in a mission on the International Space Station (ISS), where he will test advanced technologies of Polish companies and carry out experiments.
Minister of Development and Technology Waldemar Buda told PAP: ’We now have confidence and a guarantee that the second astronaut in the history of Poland will participate in a space mission into orbit.
‘This is an amazing story that is being written before our very eyes. We have a candidate, but his participation in the mission still needs to be approved by the European Space Agency and our American partners.’
He added that cooperation with ESA and Axiom Space 'is an important step in the development of both the Polish space sector and science.’
On August 4, 2023, the Minister of Development and Technology, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Axiom Space (an American space industry company) signed agreements on a flight to the ISS.
Buda said: 'A Polish astronaut on the ISS will have the opportunity to test the most advanced Polish technologies. For our companies, this is a unique opportunity to gain a unique experience that will confirm the high quality of Polish products', noted the Minister of Development and Technology.
According to the Ministry of Development and Technology, Axiom Space, in cooperation with ESA, will manage all aspects required for the preparation and completion of the mission, including access to training facilities and instructors, equipment and safety certification, in-orbit management and post-mission support.
Deputy Minister of Development and Technology, Kamila Król said: 'In addition to testing Polish technology in low Earth orbit, the educational aspect is also important to us. We hope that the lessons broadcast from the ISS by the Polish astronaut will reach thousands of students and translate into great interest in space among young Poles.’
According to Axiom Space CEO Michael Suffredini, his company's cooperation with Poland and ESA is aimed at building a comprehensive mission plan that will implement both national and Agency priorities.
The Ministry of Development and Technology reminds that in 2023 Poland increased the financial contribution to the ESA by EUR 295 million. Thanks to this, Polish companies will be able to participate in many programs for the development of technologies, products and services in the field of satellite communication, navigation and Earth observation.
'This is a huge opportunity for the Polish space sector, which is at a breakthrough moment' the ministry said. It added that ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher 'welcomed Poland's decision to allocate additional funds not only to the astronaut program, but also to several other ESA activities'.
Aschbacher pointed out that greater involvement will enable Poland to build competences faster in the dynamically developing space sector.
Companies from the Polish space sector can submit concepts for experiments to be carried out on the International Space Station. The call for proposals was announced by the European Space Agency in cooperation with the Ministry of Development and Technology and the Polish Space Agency. Applications can be submitted until September 8.
'Only representatives of the Polish space sector can participate. Selected projects will be implemented on the ISS as early as 2024,’ said the president of the Polish Space Agency Grzegorz Wrochna. (PAP)
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