What does the landing of the InSight NASA probe on Mars, taking 3 satellites into orbit and launching the prototype of the suborbital rocket to the altitude of 15 km, have in common? In all of those projects, Poland will take an active part. All these events are crucial for the Polish space sector and will take place in the second half of November 2018. They will be promoted by the Poland in Space – Space November campaign carried out with the assistance of the Polish Space Agency and the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology.
What exactly is going to happen during Space November? The most important events are as follows: taking three satellites into space: Polish, Finish-Polish and European Space Agency’s (with Polish-made telecommunication system on board), test launch of the prototype of the Polish suborbital rocket to the altitude of 15 km, landing of the InSight NASA probe on Mars, equipped with the Polish-made mechanism designed to drive the penetrator under the surface the Red Planet, and the diagnosis of the Polish administration’s demand for the satellite data.
- In November we celebrate anniversary of the Polish accession to the European Space Agency. After 6 years of participation in its programmes, we can admit that we made significant progress in the implementation of the space policy. More and more Polish companies as well as research and science units take part in important international space missions. It gives a big satisfaction, because all in all space industry is not that far away as it may seem. In fact, each day we benefit from the work of the space sector – satellite technology is used widely, for example in smartphones and their applications using geolocation. This is just one case illustrating application of satellites and their data. Shipping, railways, aviation, defence and security, analysis of the threats and natural disasters or tele-medicine, these are all sectors which are based on the use of satellites. Growth of the space industry greatly contributes to the development of modern technologies and digital economy – said Jadwiga Emilewicz, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology.
November 2018 will be a month of significant events for the Polish space industry.
On November 19, 2018, in California on board of the Falcon 9 rocket manufactured by SpaceX, PW-Sat2 and ICEYE-X2 satellites are to be taken into orbit.
- PW-Sat2, designed and manufactured by students of the Warsaw University of Technology, is a CubeSat-type satellite weighting approximately 2 kilogrammes. Its main task is to test the possibilities of removing inoperative objects from orbit (so called - deorbiting of satellites by the end of their lives in order to prevent them from becoming space debris).
- ICEYE-X2 is an Earth observation satellite, designed by the Finish company ICEYE, operating also in Poland. It was constructed in close cooperation with the Polish enterprise Creotech Instruments Inc., who was responsible for manufacturing some of its components. This satellite, weighting 85 kilogrammes, is designed to provide radar imaging of our planet, and will become a part of the constellation, which by the end of 2020 shall consist of 18 objects.
- On board of the Falcon 9 rocket, another satellite, ESEO/S-50, manufactured within the European Space Agency’s education programme, will be also taken into orbit. Broadband telecommunication system of this satellite along with the subsystem of the antenna and the part of the on-board computer controlling on-board instruments of the satellite, have all been developed and integrated in Wroclaw University of Technology and modules used to the integration have been manufactured in Poland.
On November 26, 2018, the landing of the InSight NASA probe on Mars is to take place. The rover carries a penetrating device, which was designed and manufactured in Poland by Astronika Ltd. in cooperation with several other companies and Polish research centres. It is the first complete mechanism delivered by the domestic industry for such an important American mission.
In the second half of November 2018 on the training ground in Drawsko Pomorskie the prototype of the suborbital rocket created by the Polish entity – SpaceForest Ltd. is planned to be fired to the height of 15 km. This rocket is one of the 2 rockets being currently constructed in Poland, which may allow to test technologies and conduct research in the state of microgravity during flights to the edge of space.
However, November will also be an intense month for specialists from the Polish Space Agency. Negotiations carried out by the Agency related to the accession of Poland to the European Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) Consortium are coming to an end. Our Country’s participation in this organization will allow domestic entities to participate in ventures financed from the European Union funds, whose budget in current financial perspective will amount to almost € 100 million. Furthermore, the Agency finalizes works on the analysis of the results of the survey related to the Polish administration’s needs for the usage of the satellite data, which will be used to prepare a training programme for the public administration in 2019.
- November brings a cumulation of events which are important for the Polish space sector, which are an index of the potential of the domestic enterprises and the institutions related to the space sector. In order to accelerate their development, systematic support from the State is required. This is the main purpose of the National Space Programme the Polish Space Agency is working on. Its aim is to develop the competence in Poland which would allow to secure the domestic needs related to the satellite technologies as well as to develop the potential and international competitiveness of entities from the domestic space sector. By the end of this year we want to submit National Space Programme 2019-2021 to Prime Minister for approval. – said Grzegorz Brona PhD, President of the Polish Space Agency
ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE POLISH SPACE SECTOR
November achievements of the Polish entities fit into the trends of development set by the Polish Space Strategy, adopted by the government in 2017.
Polish space industry currently consists of approximately 50 entities, mostly from small and medium-sized enterprises sector, whose activity is focused on the field of satellite and space technologies. For more than 100 entities, projects from this field are just a part of their activities. Rapid development of this sector started along with the accession of Poland to the European Space Agency in November 2012. Polish entrepreneurships and research institutes have very effectively used the period of our State’s participation in ESA. They already implemented or currently are implementing for ESA approximately 330 contracts worth over € 100 million. They also take part in prestigious ESA’s space missions, such as: Rosetta – a probe sent to the 67P/Czuriumow-Gierasimienko comet, Cassini-Huygens mission – probe sent to Titan – one of the Saturn’s moons, Proba 3 mission – exploring the outer layer of the Sun atmosphere, ExoMars2016 or JUICE mission exploring Jupiter’s moons. Certain specializations, such as: robotics, optoelectronic, microsatellite systems, little satellite integration or suborbital rockets are currently being developed in our country.
SPACE IS CLOSER THAN WE THINK
The work of the space industry has a great impact not only on the development of many different sectors of the market, but also on our lives. Its achievements often initiate many new solutions and products used by people in everyday life. It was through the space industry that safety belts, scratch-safe binoculars, smoke detectors, coal filters for water, battery screwdrivers or wireless vacuum cleaners have been developed. Space technologies are used in laser eye surgeries, thanks to them, infrared thermometers or enriched, modified milk for infants have also been developed.
These examples illustrate how the development of the space sector improves the functioning of the society in many different aspects. Three main fields based on the developments of this sector, in both civilian and military context, are as follows: telecommunication, navigation and the usage of the satellite data, especially for the Earth observation. The satellite systems enable functioning of: the Internet, the mobile telephony, the banking systems, the cable networks and the digital TV platforms. The satellite infrastructure backs world’s navigation systems, such as: American GPS or European Galileo. They provide services and data for domains such as inter alia: geodesy, navigation and traffic management, localization and monitoring of shipments, aviation, shipping and tourism. The satellite Earth imaging and services based on it are used inter alia to forecast the weather and climate changes, to monitor the state of the Earth and Sea, to estimate the costs and the effects of the natural disasters, but also in the domains of areal planning, agriculture, forestry and crisis management. The modern solutions developed for the needs of space missions are also applied in numerous fields of industry, for example related to aviation, defence or automotive. Space sector stimulates the development of new materials and technologies, and introduces new forms of the work organization and new ways of quality control.
Due to the fact that the success of space projects requires close cooperation between the research and development sector and the industrial sector, their implementation spur growth of the innovativeness of the economy.
NOVEMBER INORMATION CAMPAIGN AND SECTOR EVENTS
November events of the domestic space sector will be accompanied by the information campaign under the Poland in Space – Space November slogan carried out by the entities responsible for related projects and supported by the Polish Space Agency and the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology.
Below we present the schedule of events related to the Space November:
- 19th of November 2018 – in the Warsaw University of Technology, there will be an event related to taking student satellite PW-Sat 2 into orbit.
- On 26th of November 2018 the Copernicus Science Centre will host an event related to the landing of the InSight probe on Mars with the penetrating mechanism developed by the Astronika Ltd. The event is organized by the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology with the assistance of Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the Polish Space Agency.
- 27th of November 2018 – the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management – National Research Institute will host a conference dedicated to the Operating system for gathering, sharing and promotion of digital information about the environment – Sat4Envi project, during which the Polish Space Agency is going to present the conclusions arising from the analysis of the survey related to the Polish public administration’s usage of satellite data in the administration work.
- 20th November 2018 – the National Contact Point for Research Programmes of the European Union is going to organise an Information Day in the field of Space in the Horizon 2020 programme, which will be attended by representatives of the European Commission, the Research Executive Agency, the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency, coordinators and implementers of the framework projects in the field of SPACE.
Information about the event is available on the website: en.kpk.gov.pl/horizon-2020-space-information-day-in-warsaw/
- On 23rd of November 2018, within the series of ESA Space Talks which promotes the exploration of Space in the society, the Polish Space Professionals Association and Scanway Ltd. organize a debate in Wrocław.
Information about the event is available on the website: https://spacetalks.net/event/space-talk-pl/
- Also on the 23rd of 2018 in Sopot will be organized a My Space Love Story conference dedicated to the past, the presence and the future of space travels, in which general Mirosław Hermaszewski and five other astronauts are going to take part.