After an eight-year-long financial crisis, Greece announced its first space agency, the Hellenic Space Organization (HSO). The Greek government is confident that the space sector could help spur economic growth and propel the country into the international limelight.
The country’s media minister Nikos Pappas made the announcement Monday. For now, Greece will not launch a space exploration program, but it will continue cooperation with Europe’s space agency, the European Space Agency (ESA).
Greece joined ESA in 2005 and poured millions of dollars in the international space agency’s programs. Greece was one of the few ESA members with no space agency of its own.
Pappas is confident that the new endeavor will lead to many breakthroughs that will benefit the defense industry, infrastructure, telecommunications, the medical sector, agriculture, and fire prevention.
Greece Expects Space Industry to Bring Huge Returns
Last summer Greece and Cyprus launched the telecom satellite Hellas Sat 3 into the orbit. The takeoff took place in the French Guiana. Greece currently owns 200 space terminals, half a dozen transponders, and three satellite hubs. The space arsenal is critical for the country’s defense and national security.
Pappas unveiled that the space industry has led to sevenfold returns globally over the last few years. Each year, the global space industry leads to a turnover of 200 billion euros per year.
The minister hopes that the newly launched space agency will prevent the nation’s youth from leaving the country for a better future as it happened during the debt crisis.
The head of the Greek space agency, Stamatis Krimizis, was given the office on Monday. Krimizis leads the Johns Hopkins university’s space department of applied physics laboratory and is a senior member of the Athens Academy. He was also engaged in many U.S. space exploration programs over the years.
Image Source: NASA
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