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Latvia historically has involved in space related activities and gained significant expertise in space technology. For example, in 90’s one of the Latvian institutions were involved in the project with France, so-called, “Mars 94” where a satellite were sent to the Mars; also Latvia took part in a project related to Buran Space Shuttle development, namely: in the development of polyurethane foam insulation and heatshield ceramics. On the 15th of March in 2013, Latvia signed European Cooperating State Agreement with European Space Agency. This allowed Latvian space related businesses and institutions to take part in ESA (and its partners) projects, and open doors for different space-related opportunities for Latvian young space enthusiasts. The goal of SGAC Latvia is to see Latvia fulfilling its potential in Space Sector, and it wants to achieve that using only one method: bringing together young Latvians that are interested in Space and forming the network. Join the community today!
Young Space Activities Overview in Latvia
After signing the Cooperating State Agreement, Latvia had to agree on a five year development plan (PECS) with ESA representatives. Main objective of this plan is to prepare Latvia for closer cooperation with ESA. During this five year period Latvia has to develop its space sector that it is mature enough to become part of ESA and secondly to get to know ESA better. The latter will help Latvia easily to take part in various ESA projects. Approximately once a year European Space agency announces an open call exclusively to Latvian companies to propose space related project. The total annual budget for this initiative is 1 million EUR. At the moment, there are 5 projects in Latvia that are being sponsored by ESA in the following fields: Earth Observation projects (72% of the total budget), Education projects (23%) and little in Space Technology projects (5%).
For young people, Universities and private companies run different contests and open lecture devoted to space. For instance, Young Astronomers Club has a gathering once a month open to everyone who want to learn more about astronomy. In addition, soon the development of a new university course related to satellites will be completed in Ventspils University College. The latter is an unprecedentedly fully space related program in Latvia and a great opportunity for Latvian and foreign students interested in Space Industry.
Country-Specific Events in 2019