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on 09 June 2017

The President of the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), Dr. Phys. Marius-Ioan Piso, is leading the Romanian delegation at the sixtieth session of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), held at the United Nations Office from Vienna, Austria, during 7 – 16 June 2017.

In his keynote speech, Dr. Phys. Marius-Ioan Piso stressed the role Romania plays in European programmes and space missions both as a European Union country and a European Space Agency Member State, while also developing a national space programme in accordance with the national strategy and complementary to international programmes.

Regarding the national strategy, Dr. Phys. Marius-Ioan Piso drew attention to the concept of the 3S:

  • The first S (Science and technology) includes space exploration, space science and all research, development and industrial efforts to produce the launcher, spacecraft and specific space instruments.
  • The second S (Services) includes: Telecommunications, Earth Observation, PNT (Position – Navigation – Timing) and integrated applications.
  • The third S (Security) refers to: security applications of space systems, monitoring local and global issues, with the possibility of intervention, as for planetary defence.

Space research, technology and development are recognised in Romania as a major strategic area, having a distinct role of driving force for other fields. This strategic commitment is reflected in the positive evolution of the national space programme and also in the significant increase of international cooperation. During the latest ESA Council, Romania committed its participation to current and new exploration, applications and technology programmes, reaching involvement in 17 major ESA programmes.

Mr. Piso also mentioned Romania’s participation to space exploration, in particular to the International Space Station and space missions such as Euclid and Juice. Romanian industry has continued to extend its involvement in the development of the new European launchers Ariane 6 and Vega-C. Romania also started the development of a small launcher.

In terms of space applications, Romania focuses on areas such as agriculture, telemedicine, disaster monitoring, monitoring forests, large buildings, power plants and dams.

In the area of security, Mr. Piso pointed out Romanian contributions for space traffic management, space weather and Near Earth Objects. Data from a sensitive geo-magnetic observatory near Surlari is coupled with satellite data to monitor space weather and a national space weather programme is under consideration.

At the same time, Romania is active in ESA’s Space Situational Awareness Programme and EU’s Space Surveillance and Tracking initiative, with the satellite communication ground station at Cheia being retrofitted to detect and track space debris and NEOs. The station is expected to become operational by 2019.

Technical progress was recorded in building the Solar coronagraph for the Proba-3 ESA mission, while Romanian scientists and engineers are involved in the definition of the ESA mission AIM.

Security includes also climate change and Romania has a new atmospheric lidar ground station in Magurele, coupled with an airborne system developed by Romanian scientists in cooperation with ESA.

Dr. Piso highlighted Romania’s contributions to the activities of the UN Committee and subsequent Action Teams. Our country also supports the anniversary of 50 years since the first UNISPACE Conference.

The President of the Romanian Space Agency concluded the keynote speech by stressing the importance of space systems in our daily lives and for the Earth as a whole.

Further details about the 60th session of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) are available here.

Image credit: ROSA