Poland is to spend € 51 mln in a three-year perspective for important space programmes.   

On  November 21-23, 2022, the meeting of the ESA Ministerial Council took place in Paris. During the event, member states and associated countries declared subscriptions for optional programmes in 2023-25. Poland declared the amount of € 51 mln for the next three years which comprises € 17 mln a year.

Poland will contract participation in 9 optional programmes

The most, € 12.5 mln the government is going to allocate for the Human and Robotic Exploration Programme, specifically for sub-programme E3P (Period 3). There will be 6 lines financed such as Lunar Robotic Exploration – € 8.5 mln, Humans Beyond LEO and Humans in LEO (incl. SciSpacE) – both for € 1.5 mln as well as ExPeRT and Mars Robotic Exploration – each for € 0,5 mln.

The second programme with the biggest amount of funding is Earth Observation – € 10.5 mln. Here, the following lines will be supported: Future EO Period 1-Segment 2 (€ 8.5 mln) as well as Digital Twin Earth and Earth Watch-Incubed 2 (each for € 1.0 mln).

The third programme with the largest funding is Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at the level of € 8.10 mln. There will be the following lines supported: Future Preparation (FP) Period 2 – € 0.4 mln, Core Competitiveness (CC) Period 2 – € 1.6 mln, Business Applications Space Solutions (BASS) Period 2 – € 1.50 mln, Civil Security from Space – € 1.0 mln, 4S-SAGA – € 1.04 mln. Subprogramme Optical & Quantum Communication-ScyLight will receive financing for such lines as HydRON in the amount of € 0.52 mln and Other Activities (ScyLight) – € 1.04 mln. In turn, subprogramme EU Secure Connectivity Element 1 will gain funding for the line Secure Connectivity Period (in the amount of € 0.04 mln) as well as the line Secure Connectivity Period 2 (in the amount of € 0.96 mln).

Significant funds will be allocated to General Support Technology Programme (specifically Element 1 ”Develop” – € 5.74 mln), programme Space Safety – € 4 mln (incl. the line COSMIC – € 3.6 mln and HERA mission – € 0.4 mln), as well as programme PRODEX – € 4 mln.

Programme Space Transportation is to gain funding in the amount of €4.16 mln specifying the following lines: FLPP-Technology Disruptors and Space Logistics Element – € 3.12 mln as well as FLPP Themis/Reusability Element and Boost 1 – each for € 0.52 mln.

The government will also contribute € 1 mln to the programme “Navigation” (the line NAVISP Period 3 Element 2, as well as € 1 mln to the programme „Commercialisation, Industrial Policy and Procurement” (sub-programme ScaleUp, the line Element 1 Innovate).

The Polish Space Industry Association underlines that the increase of the subscription, in comparison to the previous financial period (€ 39 mln in 2020-22), is a step in the right direction but it does not reflect the capabilities of the Polish industry. According to the SPACE PL estimates, the Polish entities can allocate € 120 mln in the three-year perspective.

Mandatory fee

In addition to the optional contribution, Poland also pays a mandatory contribution to the ESA, which will amount to approx. € 26.7 million per year. The contribution is calculated based on the GDP of member states. The Polish fee will be mainly dedicated to such programmes as  Basic Activities and  Scientific Programme.

Pola among reserve cosmonauts of the ESA

The ESA also announced the list of cosmonauts who will go into space in missions to the International Space Station as well as one of the NASA lunar missions developed in cooperation with the ESA. 6 cosmonauts including one with disability 11 reserve cosmonauts will receive contracts from the ESA. Among the latter was a Pole, Sławosz Uznański. Initially, ESA recruited 22,000 candidates from all over Europe in year-and-a-half-long qualifying rounds.

Zdj. ESA