February 2024

Workshop: Terrestrial Analogues for Solar System studies 

A few deadlines are coming up for the Terrestrial Analogues workshop, organized by the HSC.  

We are delighted to host a 4-day workshop dedicated to terrestrial analogues for extraterrestrial studies in the Greek volcanic island of Milos.  

Terrestrial Analogues for Solar System studies 
3-6 June 2024 
Milos Conference Center 

Our workshop aims to bring together planetary scientists from all over the world including students and early career scientists in a location of great relevance for planetary geologic topics – the island of Milos in Greece. This region has experienced young volcanism and tectonism (Mars, Venus, Pluto), has undergone atmospheric shaping of volcanic deposits, and carving into yardangs (Mars, Titan, Venus, Pluto), and has current hydrothermal and fumarolic activity (Venus, Io, exoplanets). The workshop will offer a combination of lectures, scientific discussions and field trips, with a central focus around the field. 

There is no registration fee and financial support will be offered to 10 students/early career scientists. 

Feel free to share this announcement! 

Organizer: Hellenic Space Center (HSC) 
Sponsors: EGU, Europlanet Society, HSC 

For queries please contact:  
Anezina Solomonidou anezina.solomonidou@hsc.gov.gr 
Stamatios Xydous stxydous@aua.gr  
Nantia Moutsouroufi konstantina.moutsouroufi@hsc.gov.gr 

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Call for the provision of information on Greek participation in space missions or other activities of the European Space Agency 

During the recent visit of Prof. Mundell, the Director of Science at the European Space Agency (ESA), to the Hellenic Space Center (HSC), discussions arose regarding the enhancement of Greek involvement in ESA space missions. 

The most suitable avenue for supporting Greece in this endeavour is through the PRODEX program, which is an optional programme of the ESA Science Directorate. While PRODEX has been utilized in the past, its adoption has been limited, partly due to the relatively modest investment and, presumably, the modest interest within the community. 

Alternatively, some participations may be supported more effectively through other programmes such as, e.g., GSTP. 

In preparation for the upcoming ESA Ministerial Council, where member states determine their contributions to various optional programs, the Hellenic Space Center will embark on an extensive assessment, aiming to map mission involvement, project experience, and the competence of Greek teams. 

To facilitate this process, teams engaged in current, forthcoming or proposed ESA space missions/activities are hereby invited to furnish the following information to the Hellenic Space Center: 

  • Mission Name 
  • Objectives of the Mission (short description) 
  • Type and Extent of Involvement 
  • Team Composition (in numbers, e.g., X faculty members/permanent researchers, Y postdocs, Z PhD students) 
  • Collaboration/Synergy with other Greek teams (please mention collaborating team(s) details and briefly describe the competence of all teams) 
  • (Optional) Programme deemed appropriate for the support of the activity (in case you are aware) 

Providing this information will assist the HSC in building a compelling case for an increased budget allocation for the PRODEX programme and/or other appropriate optional programmes. Your cooperation in this matter is greatly appreciated. 

Please send this information to the HSC Officer Dr. Anezina Solomonidou (anezina.solomonidou@hsc.gov.gr) before the end of February.  

Additionally, please let us know of any existing contacts and/or collaborations with US or European teams pertaining to aspects of the Artemis programme (e.g., Gateway). 

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The Summer School Alpbach – An in-depth learning experience, on space science and engineering 

The “Summer School Alpbach” will be held in 2024 in Austria and will welcome 60 participants from ESA member states, including Greece. The School topic is: “Moons of the Giant Planets”, and the deadline for applications is February 29, 2024. Learn more (in greek)

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New Year’s cake cutting ceremony at the HSC 

On Tuesday, February 13, a ceremony was held on the premises of the Hellenic Space Center, for the traditional Vasilopita cake cutting by the HSC President Ioannis Daglis. The Administrative and Scientific Personnel of the Center attended the ceremony, along with the CEO Nick Sergis, the Vice President George Nounesis, and the Governing Board Μembers Pavlos Sotiriadis, and Costas Synolakis. 

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Greece signs the Artemis Accords

On February 9, Greece became the 35th country to sign the Artemis Accords. Foreign Minister Georgios Gerapetritis signed the Accords for Greece during the fifth round of the U.S.-Greece Strategic Dialogue, held in Washington, D.C. at the Department of State.  Secretary of State Antony Blinken, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, and President of the Hellenic Space Center Dr. Ioannis Daglis spoke at the signing, welcoming Greece’s commitment to the peaceful, safe and transparent exploration and use of outer space. 

The HSC president delivered the following speech

“Your excellencies,  
Secretary Blinken and Minister Gerapetritis, Administrator Nelson, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,  

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to our esteemed hosts for organizing this momentous signing ceremony, which marks the accession of Greece to the Artemis Accords. Here in the illustrious Treaty Room, we gather to celebrate a new chapter in international space cooperation. 

On a personal note, please allow me to add that I was delighted to discover the existence of the Benjamin Franklin Room, named after the revered American scientist whose legacy has inspired me since childhood. 

The Artemis Accords stand as a beacon of collaboration, offering a roadmap for a future where humanity unites in space exploration, fostering peace and progress. Named after Artemis, the ancient Greek goddess symbolizing the Moon, the Artemis program embodies our collective aspiration to expand the horizons of human exploration and knowledge. 

As we embark on this bold endeavor to return astronauts to the lunar surface and establish a sustainable human presence, Greece stands ready to contribute its expertise in space science and engineering. Our vibrant community, with its deep knowledge in space physics, remote sensing, robotics, and space software, eagerly anticipates the opportunity to enrich the Artemis program. 

In joining the Artemis Accords, we affirm our commitment to advancing scientific discovery, driving technological innovation, and inspiring future generations of scientists and engineers. Greece is honored to be a part of this international endeavor, and we eagerly anticipate the journey ahead. 

Thank you!” 

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