Greece is planning to join the world’s space race. There will be a Greek Space Agency made and run by public and private effort for the benefit of the country.
“Greece is one of the few European countries that has not established a well-organized space agency. Greece will try and join the race,” Nikos Pappas, the minister of Greece’s Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media said in an interview at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. “The Greek space agency will coordinate public and private institutions in order to make the best use of the country’s capabilities in the sector of space and satellite applications,” reported Bloomberg.
In 2008, Greece suffered many losses, one of those is their educated people about 500,000 educated individuals have flown the country to find better future in other countries. With this project, Pappas is hoping they could regain Greece draining brains. The project will open up opportunities, like better work for the people.
The agency will be an important hub for Greek and international research institutes, the ministry said.
When Minister Pappas revealed the government plan to Greeks end of January, the news spawned a wave of mostly humourous reactions on social media. Hastag #Greek_NASA was trending for several days.
— ΒΕΝΖΟΔΙΑΖΕΠΙΝΟΣ (@sorvats1974) February 9, 2017
Look what the first Greek in space did!
— Elisabet Paschos (@Makedni) February 1, 2017
— AnemosLibreson (@AnemosLibreson) February 1, 2017
Time to return home, but farmers have blocked the space roads again.
— Jim Tonic (@DimAlexopoulos) February 1, 2017
– Hallo, I call for the delivery – It just went off
— FRAPes (@Mikro_skwptikos) February 1, 2017
Seeking young employees, part-time, 385 euro gross
The majority of critics referred to the country’s financial situation, others praised the decision.
“We are doing what is obvious,” Digital Policy Minster Nikos Pappas said in the announcement. “It’s inconceivable that our country nowadays does not have a space agency. It is inconceivable that in the recent past and with the responsibility of the then governments, we essentially sent out our rights to space.”
In a Facebook post, Pappas welcomed the humorous social media surrounded the disclosure but added: “The question is simple. Should Greece have a space agency like Turkey and almost every other EU country or does anyone what to throw away our rights…”
Among those who reckoned another Greek Space Project was also KTG.
On April 28th 2013, the Samaras’ government proudly announced its plans to establish the Kalamata Space Center, a port to launch rockets to the space. A Greek Cape Canaveral, so to say.
The plan foresaw the creation of a space port in Kalamata, the capital of Messinia Prefecture in Peloponnese. The project was supposed to start “soon” as of 2015. The government plan was revealed by Dr Periklis Papadopoulos, a NASA researcher:
“Kalamata is ideal for creating a European Spaceport because of its geographical position,” Papadopoulos said and pointed out that this project could yield $1 trillion.
Stunning the audience at the 1st Peloponnese Development Conference held in Tripoli, the professor for Aeronautics and Astronautics, revealed also that the general manager of NASA was due to visit Greece next July in order to sign a memorandum of cooperation with the Greek government. The project was expected to start been transformed into reality as of 2015.
I have no idea whether the project was put on ice because 1. the Samaras government left end January 2015 2. they government could not raise the start capital or 3. the scientists found out that Kalamata lies on a region with frequent seismic activity.
But what is left from the Greek Cape Canaveral is a website that was last updated end of 2014.
Of course, the SYRIZA-ANEL Hellenic Space Agency project is different than the Kalamata Space Center. It also seems to be more thoroughly thought and structured.
The Hellenic Space Agency will be a public limited company called National Center for Space Applications (EKDE in Greek), aimed at “making up for the country’s huge deficit in this area,” Pappas said in January.
“The launch of the Hellas Sat satellite this year will create important commercial opportunities, which will be developed by a space policy agency along European lines,” the minister said in the official announcement.
EKDE will have the right to lease transponders that are not being used by the Greek state and will also act as an intermediary between Greek and international centers in the fields of commercial, scientific and military research.
The company will also be tasked with exploring space technology as a civil protection tool by developing applications for environmental monitoring, fire prevention and control, monitoring illegal construction, and other issues of importance for the civil protection.
Greece is a member at the European Space Agency (ESA) since 2005.