In June 2014, Polish students from the University of Technology in Białystok won the University Rover Challenge with their Mars rover Hyperion 2. The Polish Space Agency is a sign that more success is soon to come
It has been a long legislative process, but after more than a year of heated discussion, the POLSA act that established the Polish Space Agency as part of the European Space Agency (ESA) has finally become a reality. The document was signed on October 20, 2014 by Polish President Bronisław Komorowski with a string of ambitious goals in mind.
Poland’s presence in space – unrealized potential
Poland joined the ESA organization in September 2012. Since then, the entirety of Polish space-related projects have been conducted by a variety of institutions and departments. POLSA is to streamline the actions of the entire Polish space sector by comprising all of the responsibilities. Those include:
- Identifying interesting solutions
- Creating and facilitating the work of research labs
- Removing barriers that limit the development of companies from the space research sector
- Acquiring funds from the ESA for the development of innovative projects by Polish companies/organizations
POLSA is to be located in Gdańsk (instead of the capital city of Warsaw as it was originally planned) and headed by Professor Marek Banaszkiewicz, who has so far served as the director of the Space Research Center by the Polish Academy of Sciences.
“National security, protection from natural disasters, technology development and the proper education of personnel in charge of space-related activities – those are the benefits brought by the agency. It’s worth spending money on it.
“It’s a matter of safety. We definitely wish to avoid any military actions, but in case of any dangers, we may be able to learn about them earlier. This requires Earth observation satellites,” says professor Banaszkiewicz.
Sector analysts predict that Poland, along with its technology potential, talented scientists and engineers, has a fighting chance to compete in the new space era.
This post was originally published in Bitspiration.
Featured Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory / Creative Commons