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NASA chief visits Poland to discuss joint projects: officials

01.06.2023 23:30
The head of the US space agency NASA has visited its Polish counterpart POLSA to discuss Poland’s role in America’s future space exploration projects, according to officials.
NASA chief Bill Nelson (left) and Polish Space Agency CEO Grzegorz Wrochna (right) meet in Warsaw on Thursday, June 1, 2023.
NASA chief Bill Nelson (left) and Polish Space Agency CEO Grzegorz Wrochna (right) meet in Warsaw on Thursday, June 1, 2023.Photo: POLSA

Bill Nelson held talks at POLSA’s Warsaw headquarters on Thursday, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported. 

The NASA chief met with POLSA CEO Grzegorz Wrochna and senior Polish space officials, according to state news agency PAP.

Also present was the US ambassador to Poland, Mark Brzezinski, POLSA said. 

The meeting focused on “ways to deepen cooperation and Poland’s contribution to new American space exploration projects,” according to Polish officials. 

'Joint projects are just a matter of time'

The Polish space agency said that "the head of NASA thanked POLSA for its work so far, stressing that we are in the midst of a ‘golden era’ of space exploration, which must not proceed without contributions from Polish people."

Nelson said that the development path of POLSA and the Polish space sector “fits in with NASA’s plans,” and so “joint projects are just a matter of time,” according to POLSA. 

POLSA’s Wrochna said: “It’s a great honour for POLSA to be able to host NASA’s Administrator and former astronaut Bill Nelson.”

Wrochna said he would like Poland to be “even more actively involved in NASA’s projects than before,” adding that Nelson’s visit was "an important step in this direction.”

'A valued partner and ally'

Nelson described Poland as “a valued partner and ally,” saying that Warsaw in 2021 joined NASA’s Artemis Accords, which now have 25 signatory countries, paving the way for Polish participation in the US exploration of the Moon and Mars, among other programmes. 

Moreover, POLSA last year began cooperation with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is interested in Polish-made miniature measurement instruments, automation and robotics solutions, and advanced AI-powered systems and analytical software, the Polish space agency said. 

Polish science instruments were used in NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity and the uncrewed Orion spacecraft, which orbited the Moon as part of the Artemis 1 mission, the PAP news agency reported.

NASA’s upcoming Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP), scheduled for 2025, will feature the Global Solar Wind Structure (GLOWS), an instrument designed and built by the Polish Academy of Sciences to “examine the impact of solar wind on hydrogen in the heliosphere,” officials said.

During Thursday’s meeting at POLSA, the US ambassador to Warsaw said Poland was becoming a hub for developing “innovations of the future,” the PAP news agency reported.

POLSA said that Brzezinski’s presence “underlined the importance of space cooperation in Polish-American relations.”

NASA chief makes two-day visit to Poland

The NASA delegation also met with a group of Polish students who have won awards at the European Rover Challenge competition, according to officials.  

Later in the day, the NASA chief held talks with Polish space industry companies to learn about their products and services, with the guest list including "Astronika, CBK PAN, CloudFerro, Creotech, ELPROMA, KP Labs, PIAP Space, the Wrocław Institute of Technology, Saule, Scanway, SENER, Syderal, ŚBŁ ILOT, the Silesian Science and Technology Centre (ŚCNT), The Batteries, Vigo Photonics and WiRan," officials said.

Nelson’s two-day visit to Poland is set to conclude on Friday with a meeting with a group of talented youngsters at Warsaw’s Copernicus Science Centre (CNK), the PAP news agency reported.


Source: IAR, PAP, polsa.gov.pl