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ROSA President participates at the 55th Session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space

on 31 January 2018

The President of the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), Dr. Phys. Marius-Ioan Piso, is participating at the 55th edition of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, held at the Vienna International Centre, Austria, between 29 January – 9 February 2018.

During the session held on 30 January, Dr. Marius-Ioan Piso made a statement on the status of space development in Romania.

Space activities have continuously developed during the last year, accompanied by innovative technology development and an increasing variety of space applications.

Mr. Piso reported that Romania is supporting all activities connected to the anniversary of 50 years from the organisation of the first UNISPACE Conference and underlined the importance of adopting a solid Resolution on space, in concordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.     

Romania’s strategic commitment to space research, technology and development led to a positive evolution of the national space programme, but also to an increase in international cooperation.

Currently, the national strategy is built around the concept of 3S (Three S’s):

  • Science and technology: space exploration, space science and all research, development and industrial efforts to produce the launcher, spacecraft and specific space instruments.
  • Services: Telecommunications, Earth observation, PNT (Position-Navigation-Timing), integrated applications such as precision farming, telemedicine, meteorology, autonomous transportation, also launch services.
  • Security: monitoring local and global issues with possibility of intervention, space traffic management, security of critical space systems.

Romania committed significant contribution to most of ESA’s current and new exploration, applications and technology programmes. Space applications have been developed also under the Horizon 2020 programme, which is supporting the Copernicus Sentinel satellites and the Galileo European GNSS.

In terms of space exploration, Mr. Piso mentioned Romania’s involvement in the International Space Station programme and the Euclid and Juice missions. In the area of access to space, Romanian industry saw a growth in participation to the development of the new European launchers Ariane 6 and Vega-C. Romania also started the development of a small launcher with capabilities of tenths of kilograms in Low Earth Orbit, to be mainly utilised for the orbiting and maintenance of constellations of microsatellites.

With regards to services, space applications were used for agriculture, telemedicine and disaster monitoring. Data from radar satellites such as Sentinel-1 was used for the development of a portal for forestry high resolution monitoring.

Under security, Romania contributed to space traffic management efforts, space weather and Near Earth Objects. Data from a sensitive geo-magnetic observatory near Surlari is coupled with satellite data to monitor space weather events and a future national space weather programme is under the consideration.

Technical progress has been recorded in building the Solar coronagraph for the PROBA-3 ESA mission, while other Romanian scientists and engineers are involved in the definition of the HERA mission, devoted to asteroid studies. A system to detect and track space debris and NEO’s will become operational at Cheia by 2019 and will be open to international cooperation.

Regarding climate change, Dr. Piso mentioned the atmospheric lidar ground station developed in Magurele, Romania, coupled with an airborne system developed by Romanian scientists in cooperation with ESA. Romania is also participating to the development of ALTIUS – an international mission devoted to ozone concentration measurement.

A ROSA Centre on Space Critical Infrastructures and Security was established, which is also supporting the SPIDER regional support centre in Bucharest.

The President of ROSA mentioned some of the 2017 key events in Romania: the 6th Conference on Space Systems as Critical Infrastructures and the 6th Copernicus conference dedicated to the East European Copernicus users.

Dr. Piso ended his statement by mentioning the importance of public engagement, education and training of new professionals and confirmed Romania’s continued active role in addressing global issues through representation in international collaboration such as: UN COPUOS, GEO, COSPAR, IAF and IAA.

Image credit: ROSA