News - Ανακοινώσεις

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). 

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. 

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!” 

The CEO of the HSC at the UN COPUOS 

On Tuesday, January 30th, the CEO of the Hellenic Space Center, Dr Nick Sergis, delivered a National Declaration in the context of the participation of the Greek delegation in the works of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) of the United Nations. The COPUOS sessions are hosted in Vienna, Austria, between January 29th and February 9th, 2024. COPUOS works on encouraging and facilitating international cooperation on the peaceful uses of space services and products, as well as on considering legal issues arising from space exploration. 

Visit of ESA delegation at the HSC 

On Tuesday, January 30th, the Hellenic Space Center welcomed Prof. Carole Mundell, Director of Science of the European Space Agency (ESA), and a team of distinguished colleagues from ESA. The meeting was jointly organized by the Ministry of Digital Governance and the HSC and was hosted at the HSC premises. The meeting provided the opportunity to hear and discuss about the activities and plans within the ESA Science Program and a more effective participation of Greek entities. Participants: 

From ESA: 

  • Carole Mundell, ESA Director of Science 
  • Rolf de Groot, Head of the Science Coordination Office for Relations with Member States at ESA  
  • Ulrike Bohlmann, Head of Section in the Director General’s Cabinet 
  • Frederic Safa, Head of the Future Missions Department, D/SCI 

From the Ministry of Digital Governance:  

  • Konstantinos Karantzalos, General Secretary of Telecommunications and Post, Head of Greek Delegation to ESA  
  • Argyro Kagia, Head of the Department of Satellite Services and Infrastructure, Delegate of Greece to ESA for the Earth Observation Programme Board (PB-EO) 
  • Erythra Zisi, Deputy Head of Department of 5G Wireless Communications, Delegate of Greece to ESA for the Science Programme Committee (SPC) 

From the Hellenic Space Center:  

  • Ioannis Daglis, President of the HSC, Professor of Space Physics at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens  
  • Anezina Solomonidou, HSC Science Officer for Space Sciences and Space Exploration – Delegate of Greece to ESA for the Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration Programme Board (PB-HME) 
  • Dimitris Mylonas, HSC Science Officer for Space Systems  

From the Hellenic Astronomical Society (Hel.A.S):  

  • Vassilis Charmandaris, President of Hel.A.S, Director of the Institute of Astrophysics at FORTH, Director of Skinakas Observatory 
  • Georgios Balasis, Vice-President of Hel.A.S, Research Director of the Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing (IAASARS) at the National Observatory of Athens (NOA)

Open International Invitation to Tender for the development of an EO satellite cluster

The Ministry of Digital Governance implements the National Program of Small Satellites, announcing an Open International Invitation to Tender through the European Space Agency, with a budget of 60 million euros, for the development of an Earth Observation satellite cluster. The Invitation to Tender is part of the revised Microsatellite Program, and the deadline for bids is March 5, 2024.

Public talk by the HSC President at Livadia

On Sunday, January 21, the President of the HSC, Prof. Ioannis Daglis, gave a public lecture on “The exploration and understanding of Space with spacecraft observations” in Livadia, Greece. The lecture is part of the series “Traveling through our solar system”, organised by the Public Central Library of Livadia, the Directorate of Secondary Education of Boeotia and the Friends of the Livadia Library cultural association, with free admission, and under the coordination of Prof. Loukas Vlachos. The recording of the talk is available on YouTube (in greek).

The HSC at IEEE IGARRS 2024 for Sessions on “Financing the Future: Fostering Innovation in Space Technologies” and “Geology and Geophysics across the Solar System”

The Hellenic Space Center is organizing two dynamic sessions at the upcoming IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) in Athens, Greece, from July 7-12, 2024. Session CCS.41, titled “Financing the Future: Fostering Innovation in Space Technologies through Diverse Funding Mechanisms”, promises to be a hub of innovative ideas and groundbreaking developments, while session CCS.43, titled “Geology and Geophysics across the Solar System”, promises to showcase exciting results and new methods on remote sensing data analysis for solar system studies.

CCS.41
Financing the Future: Fostering Innovation in Space Technologies through Diverse Funding Mechanisms

In this rapidly evolving space sector, understanding and leveraging diverse funding mechanisms is crucial. This session aims to unravel the complex web of financing options available to space innovators. We will bring together a wide array of stakeholders – from Space Agencies and leading industry firms to prominent research institutes – to share their insights and experiences.

CCS.43
Geology and Geophysics across the Solar System

Our session welcomes studies focused on the surfaces and subsurfaces of inner and outer solar system bodies such as planets, moons, and asteroids based but not limited on analyses of various remote sensing data. Interdisciplinary and comparative studies of terrestrial volcanic/tectonic systems with a strong remote sensing component are encouraged, as well as studies on terrestrial analogues that help understanding the working mechanisms of outer space bodies and vice versa.

Important Dates:

  • Abstract Submission Deadline: January 5th, 2024
  • Notification of Acceptance: March 15th, 2024
  • Accepted Paper Registration Deadline: May 30th, 2024
  • IGARSS 2024 Conference: July 7th – 12th, 2024

Submit your abstract and be a part of this groundbreaking session. Let’s shape the future of space exploration and innovation together!

HSC-AEE Memorandum  

On Tuesday, December 19th, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Hellenic Space Center (HSC) and the Spanish Space Agency (Agencia Espacial Española – AEE), with the purpose of setting a framework for cooperation between the two countries in the space sector, with an emphasis on satellite remote sensing and satellite telecommunication technologies. 

The online signing ceremony was attended by the President of the HSC, Prof. Ioannis Daglis, the CEO Dr. Nick Sergis, the scientific personnel of the HSC, the director of the Spanish Space Agency, Dr. Miguel Belló Mora, along with its chief of staff, Mr. Ana Marin, and AEE officials. 

The two presidents addressed brief greetings. Mr. Daglis stated that the signing of the MoU comes as the culmination of an essential and multi-level contact between the two Space Agencies and emphasized that Greece and Spain, as Mediterranean countries, have common needs that they aim to address using satellite technologies and that their cooperation is crucial for maximizing satellite capabilities, especially in the field of Earth Observation. 

Mr. Belló Mora emphasized the satisfaction of the Spanish side for the creation of a targeted cooperation framework with Greece, and pointed out that the timing is ideal, since, in addition to common needs, Spain, in cooperation with Portugal, dynamically enters the satellite remote sensing sector, with the implementation of the Atlantic Constellation program, which foresees the operation of a cluster of Earth observation satellites, with the ability to systematically cover the Mediterranean coasts. 

The ceremony ended with the hope that soon there will be an opportunity for a live meeting between the administrations and the scientific personnel of the two Space Agencies.