Szijjártó outlines space strategy at ESA ministerial meeting

Science

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Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó reported on the government's first, 10-year national space strategy at a European Space Agency (ESA) ministerial meeting in Porto earlier this week, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Szijjártó said the government has already started a recruitment drive for an astronaut to travel to the International Space Station (ISS) sometime mid-decade. The mission is part of a wider scientific program as the astronaut will conduct a number of experiments on the station and install Hungarian-Russian machinery to monitor space weather, he added.

Hungary is making preparations for the launch of its own telecommunications satellite into orbit and the development of the related terrestrial segment. The country has also signed a space research agreement with Thales Alenia Space, a French-Italian aerospace manufacturer, enabling Hungarian companies to participate in the running of one of the world's largest satellite fleet.

The government has set up a financial fund to support Hungarian companies operating in the sector. A space science training course was also developed in cooperation with 17 Hungarian universities, Szijjártó said.

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