|National Point of Contact|
Oct 2011-Oct 2015
There is a popular joke saying that Lithuanians learned how to fly before they learned walking. It is not only true that we love to fly but also that we want to explore the far reaches of the universe as well. The beginning of the space age in Lithuania is marked by the foundation of Molėtai Astronomical Observatory in 1969 which for many years served as a main tool for astrophysical research using multicolor stellar photometry. Many Lithuanian scientists and engineers were also involved in the space program of the Soviet Union, especially the Energia-Buran space shuttle project. A totally new page has been opened in Lithuanian space history in the year 2010 when the cooperation agreement between the Government of Lithuania and the ESA was signed. A new and promising future is waiting for the next youth generation of Lithuania. There is much to be done so join us now!
Young Space Activities Overview in Lithuania
In January 2014, first Lithuanian satellites LituanicaSAT-1 and LitSat-1 were launched into space. The creators of the satellites have dedicated their missions to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the flight of the legendary pilots S. Darius and S. Girėnas across the Atlantic Ocean. This historical event had an important symbolic meaning, and open possibilities for unique space experiments, promoting development of high technologies in Lithuania. NPoC for SGAC in Lithuania, Laurynas Maciulis was actively involved in developing and managing „LituanicaSAT-1“ project. Work on the next Lithuanian satellite mission called “LituanicaSAT-2” is also underway. Project is led by Vilnius University with core team members coming from “LituanicaSAT-1”. Primary mission objective is to participate in the international scientific mission called “QB50”.
Lithuania’s Minister of Economy signed an agreement of a European Cooperating State with the European Space Agency (ESA) in Paris on October 9th 2014. Lithuania was invited to sign the agreement and join ESA programs after ESA experts carried out a technological audit of Lithuania’s research and business potential in the space field in February 2013. The experts found that Lithuania boasts a rather strong potential in natural sciences, biotechnologies, information technologies, microelectronics and optoelectronics, mechatronics, laser science and technologies, as well as other areas. The Lithuanian Science, Innovation and Technology Agency (MITA) and NASA signed a bilateral cooperation agreement for an international internship programme on Oct. 6, 2014. The agreement will facilitate students from Lithuania will have an opportunity to work in NASA`s research centre, see NASA facilities and resources, and cooperate with scientists and engineers from the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration, while NASA will have a possibility to acquire ownership of the inventions by Lithuanian students involved in this programme.
|Lithuanian Minister of Economy Evaldas Gustas (left) signs the agreement of a European Cooperating State with ESA Director General Jean-Jacque Dordain (right)|
|Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite (left) uncovers the first picture from LituanicaSAT-1 together with project team members Vytenis Buzas and Laurynas|
|Signing of NASA's-Lithuania International Internship Program Agreement (Photo credit NASA, Aubrey Gemignani)|
Country-specific Events in 2015
- Lithuanian CanSat Competition 2015. Follow the information in the contest website for latest news.
- MoMoLab is a 2-3 day program where 7-11 grade schoolchildren can perform scientific experiments in a specially equipped mobile scientific laboratory (MoMoLab), listen for lectures bout newest scientific discoveries and watch life science experiments. Visits are performed regularly when registered by school. More info at project website.
- Researcher’s Night 2015. This exciting nationwide event takes place on 26th of September when everyone enjoys doing some science just for fun. Various public events in major cities are held were students and professional scientists come out to the streets demonstrating breathtaking scientific experiments or just tell how science influences everyone’s life. Specifically at the Molėtai Astronomical Observatory, people can come that night to gaze the wonderful starry sky with observatory’s large telescopes providing the sky is clear. Official event website here.
Interesting Web Links for the Young Generation in Lithuania
- LituanicaSAT-1 project
- Litsat-1 project
- Nanosatellite Mission Idea Contest
- Unisec Europe Lithuania
- Young researcher
- Inovative Enginnering Projects
- Lithuanian Space Association
- Space Fan Club „Litonautika“
- Space Science and Technology Institute
- Vilnius Planetarium
- Lithuanian Etno-Cosmology Museum
- Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy
- Lithuanian Union of Astronomers
- Lithuanian Society of Young Researchers