Polish Space Agency
Polska Agencja Kosmiczna (Polish)
Logo
Agency overview
AbbreviationPOLSA
Formed26 September 2014; 9 years ago (2014-09-26)
TypeSpace agency
HeadquartersGdańsk, Poland
Official languagePolish
AdministratorGrzegorz Wrochna
OwnerPoland
Annual budget42.7 million PLN (2021)[1]
Websitepolsa.gov.pl

The Polish Space Agency (POLSA; Polish: Polska Agencja Kosmiczna, PAK) is the space agency of Poland, administered by the Ministry of Development, Labour and Technology. It is a member of the European Space Agency. The agency is focused on developing satellite networks and space technologies in Poland.[2] It was established on 26 September 2014,[2] and its headquarters are located in Gdańsk, Poland.[3]

History

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The Agency was established under the Act of September 26, 2014,[4] and started operating with a full team at the end of 2015. The Polish Space Agency, as a government executive agency, participates in the implementation of Poland's strategic goals, taking actions to increase the use of satellite systems and accelerate development of space technologies for the benefit of national administration, science, economy and defence.

In November 2014, professor Marek Banaszkiewicz, who previously served as director of the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences became the first President of the newly formed agency.[5][6] The vice-president for science became professor Marek Moszyński from the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technology of the Gdańsk University of Technology, and the Vice-President for Defense - General Lech Majewski.

United States cooperation

Main article: Artemis Accords

On October 26, 2021, Poland became the 13th nation to join the Artemis Accords, collaborating with NASA to return men to the Moon by 2025 as part of the Artemis program. Grzegorz Wrochna, President of POLSA, stated that although joining the accord does not guarantee a Polish astronaut will go to the Moon, it will ensure greater cooperation with global aerospace efforts, and will ensure that "Polish equipment, Polish instruments will fly to the moon and to other bodies."[7][8]

At the Space Symposium 38 in Colorado Springs on April 19, 2023, U.S. Army general James H. Dickinson signed a treaty with POLSA president Grzegorz Wrochna for Poland to join the Space Situational Awareness Programme.[9]

On August 9, 2023 POLSA signed a deal with Axiom Space to send a Polish astronaut to the International Space Station aboard Axiom Mission 4, with the likely candidate being Sławosz Uznański, the only Polish member of the European Space Agency's Astronaut Corps. He would be the first Polish astronaut since Mirosław Hermaszewski flew on Soyuz 30.[10] Shortly after POLSA contributed €200 million to the ESA, an increase from their expected contribution of €132 million as POLSA announced they seek to control a 3% stake in the European space market by 2030.[11]

On September 30 Wrochna announced that POLSA aims to send a crewed mission to the Moon by 2030, presumably on Artemis 6. He also announced that Poland will be developing native launch capabilities, as well as native satellites to help the Polish economy.[12][13]

Domestic satellites

On March 6, 2018 the POLSA announced that they where planning on investing 1.43 billion over an eight-year period as part of the "National Space Program" project which would allow POLSA to coordinate with preexisting private space entities in Poland. The founding would have also funded an astronomical observation satellite, a SAR microsatellite, and a number of other R&D projects. Piotr Suszyński, the vice president for defense at POLSA, also stated that the project would promote international coopreation with the European Space Agency (ESA). POLSA's funding request would not pass.[14]

On March 18, 2022, POLSA signed a letter of intent with Virgin Orbit in a bid to secure a domestic launch capability. POLSA planned on launching a series of microsatellites, however, the Russian invasion of Ukraine shuttered any plans to use Russian rockets to launch the probes. Wrochna also explained that Poland has no physical location for a traditional vertical launch pad, as any typical space launch will cause debris to fall on populated areas. Virgin's Orbit, and by extentionLauncherOne, were defunct before a Polish flight could take place.[15]

On March 2, 2023, POLSA's vice-president Michal Wiercinski attended Australian International Airshow in order to win not only a launch site for future Polish missions, likely the RAAF Woomera Range Complex, but also to win over subcontractors to design Polish satellites, namely the developers of the EagleEye Earth observation spacecraft. This comes as tensions flare between Poland, and NATO against Russia, and the CSTO, as Poland sees the development of Earth observation satellites as an issue of national security.[16]

On October 31 POLSA announced a partnership with the ESA which would see a Polish satellite constellation launched by 2027. The constellation will consist of at least four satellites, three optoelectronic and one radar, and is expected to cost $87 million. The satellites will be designed and manufactured in conjunction with the ESA. The goal of the constellation is in the monitoring and management of land use, agriculture, the environment, infrastructure, water, and emergencies. These will be the first ever Polish satellites, with the constellation using the working name Camilla.[17]

On November 1, TelePIX, a South Korean space startup announced they will be working with a Polish startup, SatRevolution, to, in conjunction with the South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT and POLSA, to develop BlueBon, a 6U CubeSat scheduled to launch in 2024 that will have a 3.8-meter optical camera to collect Earth observation data.[18]

Foreign cooperation

On July 4, 2016, POLSA announced that they where signing a letter of cooperation with the Chinese National Space Administration to foster developments in science and technology in the two countries and promoting cooperation between Polish and Chinese technology developers. Additionally, the deal outlined Polish experiments being potentially launched on Chinese rockets, and potential Polish experiments to the Tiangong space station.[19]

Management

References

  1. ^ Ustawa budżetowa na rok 2021 z dnia 20 stycznia 2021 r., Journal of Laws, 2021, position 190.
  2. ^ a b Obwieszczenie Marszałka Sejmu Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z dnia 21 października 2020 r. w sprawie ogłoszenia jednolitego tekstu ustawy o Polskiej Agencji Kosmicznej, Journal of Laws, 2020, position 1957.
  3. ^ "Sejm: Polska Agencja Kosmiczna będzie miała siedzibę w Gdańsku". naukawpolsce.pap.pl (in Polish). 2014-09-27.
  4. ^ "Nowy wiceprezes Polskiej Agencji Kosmicznej". polsa.gov.pl (in Polish). 2021-11-22.
  5. ^ "Szef Polskiej Agencji Kosmicznej: agencja może przynieść Polsce korzyści". naukawpolsce.pap.pl (in Polish). 2015-02-09. Archived from the original on 2016-08-14.
  6. ^ "Prof. Marek Banaszkiewicz Prezesem Polskiej Agencji Kosmicznej". mg.gov.pl (in Polish). 2014-12-14. Archived from the original on 2015-07-08.
  7. ^ "Poland Signs Artemis Accords at IAC". NASA. Retrieved 7 October 2023.
  8. ^ Foust, Jeff. "Poland signs Artemis Accords". SpaceNews. Retrieved 7 October 2023.
  9. ^ "USSPACECOM, Polish Ministry of National Defence, and Polish Space Agency Sign Space Situational Awareness Sharing Agreement". United States Space Force. Retrieved 12 January 2024.
  10. ^ Foust, Jeff (18 August 2023). "Poland signs agreement to fly astronaut on Axiom Space ISS mission". SpaceNews. Retrieved 7 October 2023.
  11. ^ Rzhevkina, Anna. "Poland signals stellar ambitions as it increases its contribution to the European Space Agency". sciencebusiness.net. Retrieved 7 October 2023.
  12. ^ "In 10 years, Poles will be on the moon: POLSA president". Telewizja Polska. Retrieved 7 October 2023.
  13. ^ "Poland aims for the moon in next decade". spacewatch.global. Retrieved 7 October 2023.
  14. ^ Adamowski, Jarosław. "Polish Space Agency eyes $420M program to develop satellites, space R&D". SpaceNews. Retrieved 12 February 2024.
  15. ^ Adamowski, Jarosław. "Poland, Virgin Orbit partner on Eastern Europe satellite launch initiative". SpaceNews. Retrieved 12 February 2024.
  16. ^ Magnuson, Stew. "AVALON NEWS: Polish Space Agency Seeking Partnerships 'Down Under'". National Defense Industrial Association. Retrieved 12 January 2024.
  17. ^ Ptak, Alicja. "Poland signs agreement to launch first satellite constellation". notesfrompoland.com. Retrieved 11 January 2024.
  18. ^ "TelePIX, South Korean Startup, Signs Deal to Provide Earth Observation Imagery Data from its BlueBon Satellite". PR Newswire. Retrieved 12 February 2024.
  19. ^ Berger, Brian. "Poland signs space partnership deal with China, eyes increased industry cooperation". SpaceNews. Retrieved 12 February 2024.
  20. ^ "Obwieszczenie Marszałka Sejmu Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej" (PDF). isap.sejm.gov.pl (in Polish). 2020-10-21.
  21. ^ "Powołano nowego wiceprezesa Polskiej Agencji Kosmicznej". urania.edu.pl (in Polish). 2021-03-02.