|National Point of Contact|
Apr 2010-Apr 2014
The goal of the present web page is to become the central point of information for all space related activities in Greece. SGAC Greece hopes to bring the young Greeks together to expand the network. Join us! If you are interested in sharing your activities, reporting on your events, need any help, please do get in touch with the National Point of Contact for Greece – Angeliki Kapoglou.
Cooperation between ESA and the Hellenic National Space Committee began in the early 1990s and in 1994 Greece signed its first cooperation agreement with ESA. This led to regular exchange of information, the award of fellowships, joint symposia, mutual access to databases and laboratories, and studies on joint projects in fields of mutual interest. Thus the Greek scientific community has gained international recognition in space physics and has participated in several US space missions and also other international missions.
In September 2003 Greece formally applied to join ESA. Subsequent negotiations were followed in the summer of 2004 by the signing of an agreement on accession to the ESA Convention by Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General on behalf of ESA, and by DimitrisSioufas, the Minister for Development, on behalf of the Greek Government. On January 18th 2005 the Greek parliament passed the appropriate legislation which ratified the agreement, thus enabling Greece to become the 16th official member of the European Space Agency. The official announcement was made to the ESA Council on 16 March by Per Tegnér, Chairman of the ESA Council.
Against the backdrop of the current difficult economic conditions in Greece, the Greek Space Program has maintained its momentum. The Greek Space Program, up to now, focused on four major directions: atmospheric sciences, geodesy and geodynamics, Earth observation and satellite communications. Recently, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced the investment of 5 million euros in research on space technology by Greek organizations. Important to note is the near future amount of around 1 billion EU funds that will be allocated.
This new proclamation has been an initiative of the ESA-Greece Task Force. The government recently appointed Stamatis Krimigis, who served as Greece's alternate head delegate to the European Space Agency (since 2006) up until recently and one of the world's most distinguished space scientists, -Honorary Director of the Space Department of the Applied Physics Laboratory at John Hopkins University in the U.S., Chief researcher in various NASA space missions (Voyager 1 and 2, Cassini – Huygens etc.), to spearhead Greece's drive for research and technology breakthroughs. His new job as the president of the newly established National Council for Research and Technology is to invest the 1 billion euros in European Union funds recently secured by Greece. The NCRT operates as an independent advisory and consultative body to the Minister. It's supposed to provide direction on a number of issues that have to do with research and technology.
Young Space Activities Overview in Greece
In addition to SGAC Greece, there are a number of space related activities where young professionals and students can meet to share ideas and projects related to space.
- The National Astronomy Centre and Observatory of Education allows observation of the Universe with EUDOXOS using the Internet: EUDOXOS Observatories are robotic. They give you the opportunity to make your own observations remotely and get real measurements from real instruments for real science. If you want to explore deep space by being engaged in real astronomical experiments, join this growing observing community and learn more about the exciting possibilities offered by EUDOXOS, the Hellenic Complex of Robotic Observatories. In addition Eudoxos' people develop astronomy curricula and distant learning programs, named the "EUDOXOS advanced educational curriculum" and the "EUDOXOS introductory educational curriculum" .
- The Greek Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (IAA)effectively performs a number of educational activities. These activities are oriented to young astronomers, to teachers and to students from high schools, as well as to lower level schools.
- Practical Exercises Program for Students: The Institute participates in the Program for Practical Exercises of the Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Physics of the National Technical University of Athens. A number of Faculty's students have the opportunity to carry out scientific exercises in IAA lead by researchers of the Institute.
- Astronomy seminars for high-school teachers: Talks on selected topics on modern Astrophysics by the Greek Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (IAA) researchers are presented each year, since 1997, to teachers from high-schools from all over Greece.
- Astronomy courses for high-school students: Regularly, since 1996, in the beginning of September each year, the Greek Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (IAA), with the support of the Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, organizes a course for selected students from high-schools of Athens, entitled Summer School on Astrophysics of the IAA. During the school, which lasts three to four days, students attend lessons on modern Astrophysics. Additionally, they take part in exercises, prepared for this purpose, and finally, the students have to present their results.
Open days for schools: Students from more than 4000 high schools from all over Greece have been guided by the Visitor Center of the Greek Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (IAA), since its start in September 1995. The tour usually includes a General Astronomy course, video projections and a visit to the 62.5 Newall refractor. Other Special tours can be organized for schools in the AS Krioneri. These tours include visiting the 1.2m Telescope.
Open Nights: More than 100,000 visitors from all over Greece have been guided by the Visitor Centre of IAA since its start in September 1995. The tour includes a General Astronomy course, video projections, and visits to the 62.5 Newall refractor. Regularly Open Gate Days are organized at the Krioneri Observatory.
ESA's earth observation teaching tool for secondary students and teachers has finally expanded and extended to Greece. For many years, ESA's Eduspace website (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Eduspace_GR/) has been a window to the world, providing an invaluable introduction to Earth observation and its applications. The site has now been updated and improved with new case studies and a Greek version which was welcomed by the Greek school communities. It provides teachers and students with examples, background information, exercises and ideas on how to introduce Earth observation from space into the classroom.
- The Greek Trainee project at ESA: In collaboration with the State Scholarship Foundation (IKY)
- NASA Academy 2012 - Opportunities for European Students: The NASA Academy is a demanding 10-week internship program in which selected students pursue a science or engineering-related research project at Ames Research Center in California, USA from 17 June to 24 August 2013 while developing their networking and leadership skills. The ESA Education is offering two European students the unique opportunity to participate in this prestigious program. The application deadline is 5 January 2013 (midnight CET). The results of the selection process will be announced in March 2012. For instruction on how to apply as well as for the list of available projects go the homepage linked above
- 4th Advanced ESA Training Course in Land Remote Sensing in Athens, Greece
- Massive Stars Conference in Rhodes, Greece
- Conference opportunities for sponsored students by ESA
Country-Specific Events in 2013
- Open House at the Skinakas Observatory.
- Astronomy Seminars at the Section of Astrophysics Astronomy and Mechanics of the University of Thessaloniki
- Colloquia at the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the National Observatory of Athens
- Colloquia at the Institute for Space Applications and Remore Sensing of the National Observatory of Athens
- Colloquia of the Department of Physics at the Univ. of Crete.
- Astronomy Seminars of the Astrophysics and Space Physics Section at the Dept. of Physics of the Univ. of Crete.
- Visitor Center at the National Observatory of Athens.
Interesting Web Links for the Young Generation in Greece