National Points of Contact
Welcome to the homepage of the SGAC Austria! Main objective of the SGAC Austria is to reach and connect students and young professionals in order to inspire Austria’s next space generation.
The Kuffner and Urania Observatories in Vienna, as well as the University of Graz Observatory in Graz bear witness to a long-lasting and deep-rooted tradition of scientific research in the field of astronomy in Austria. Throughout history, renowned Austrian scientists such as Erwin Schrödinger, Wolfgang Pauli and Christian Doppler fundamentally changed the way we understand our universe. In 1987 Austria became a full member of ESA and has regularly contributed to the numerous mandatory and optional space programs ever since.
The first Austrian cosmonaut, Franz Artur Viehböck (by Austrian media also referred to as the first ‘Austronaut’), was sent to the Mir space station in 1991 as part of the AUSTROMIR 91 program, a scientific collaboration between Austria and the former USSR. Over the past several years Austria has established various organisations and international collaborations in space related projects. TUGSAT-1, one of five nanosatellites in the BRITE constellation and the first Austrian satellite, is operated by the Graz University of Technology. The satellite was launched on 25 February 2013 as secondary payload on board a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India. All these efforts contribute to an increasing awareness of space and space related activities and offer exciting new chances and challenges for space enthusiasts in Austria. In addition, Austria is very proud to host the SGAC headquarters as well as the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the meetings of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS) in Vienna.
Young Space Activities Overview in Austria
Students and young professionals highly benefit from the numerous space related organisations and activities in Austria. The SGAC Austria serves as a networking base for a number of national groups and associations. In our efforts, we highly benefit from the proximity to the United Nations Office in Vienna, which handles all of the UN space work, and to the various other international space-related organizations headquartered in Vienna. SGAC members are allowed to attend the UN COPUOS meetings, which are held in June each year. Please feel free to visit the SGAC headquarters at Schwarzenbergplatz 6 in the third district of Vienna and don’t forget to drop by at ESPI, the European Space Policy Institute, which is located in the same building. Besides SGAC and ESPI, you should check out the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF), a network of space professionals and enthusiasts who work on a space rover and suite for Mars exploration. Almost all universities in Austria offer space related courses in their curricula, from space law to space biology. The student clubs, such as the TU Space Team located in Vienna, provide important networks and opportunities and create their own landers, rovers and satellites. The Alpbach Summer School offers students further valuable possibilities to foster the practical application of their knowledge of space sciences. The Museum of Technology, the Museum of Natural History, the Planetarium Vienna and the Urania Planetarium regularly host public space related exhibitions and other events in Vienna. If you are interested in space industries you should check out the webpage of the Association of Austrian Space Industries (AUSTROSPACE) or of the Aeronautics and Space Agency (FGG). Please feel free to contact the NPoC in Austria to get more information about the current space events and activities around you.
Country-Specific Events in 2018
Jan 13 – Austrian Space Ball – In 2018 the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF), one of SGAC’s long-term partners, celebrates its 20th anniversary. On this occasion, they are inviting to an extraordinary ball – the first Austrian Space Ball! Information and Tickets available in the official website.
April 9-20 – UNOOSA: Legal Subcommittee – The Legal Subcommittee meets every year for two weeks to discuss legal questions related to the exploration and use of outer space – Vienna.
April 12 – International Day of Human Space Flight & Yuri’s Night – Celebrating the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin becoming the first human in outer space at the Urania Sternwarte – Vienna.
June 20-29 – UNOOSA: Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space – The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) meets annually to discuss questions relating to current and future activities in space – Vienna.
June 20-21 – UNISPACE+50: UNISPACE+50 will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. It is a special segment of the 61st session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) – Vienna.
Summer School Alpbach
Would you like to use engineering and/or science to address solutions to problems that can be addressed by space missions? If yes, consider applying to the Summer School Alpbach.
Each year, sixty European engineering and science students are chosen to participate in the Summer School Alpbach, a ten day learning opportunity held in the beautiful Austrian Alps. Accepted participants will be engaged in an in-depth learning experience. Over ten days participants will attend stimulating lectures on various aspects of space science and technology and will work intensely within a smaller group to define and design a space mission, all under the supervision of noted scientific and engineering experts within the field.
Interesting Web Links for the Young Generation in Austria
Austrian Technology In Space – Austrian space industry and space research are presented on this website
AUSTROSPACE – An association of Austrian space industries and research institutions
Der Orion – Austrian space Blog
ESA Summer School Alpbach – Apply here to the ESA Summer School Alpbach
European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) – The official website of the European Space Policy Institute
National Point of Contact for Space Law Austria – The NPOC Austria acts as an interface between European Centre for Space Law and persons interested in space law in Austria. – www.spacelaw.at
Naturhistorisches Museum Wien (Natural History Museum Vienna) – The official website of the Natural History Museum Vienna
Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum) – The official website of the Vienna Technical Museum
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs – The official website of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs