According to recent news reported by the Neoskosmos.com, Almost a year and a half since the first announcement of its creation, the Hellenic Space Agency was officially launched on March 19, by Minister for Digital Policy Nikos Pappas and General Secretary for Telecommunications and Post Vassilis Maglaras.
Greece has been a member of ESA since 2005 and has invested millions of euros in ESA’s research programmes but was one of the few member states lacking a national institution.
Speaking to media minister Nikos Pappas outlined the multiple benefits that Greece expects to gain from the new agency, among them, telecommunications infrastructure, defense, medical applications, agriculture, environmental monitoring, fire prevention and control. Entering into the space sector can make the country stronger and more productive, increasing its standing in many ways.
Following the launch into orbit last June of the Greek and Cypriot telecommunications satellite Hellas Sat 3 from French Guiana, Greece now has six transponders, three ground-based satellite hubs, 200 terminals, covering key areas such as defence, security and civil protection, according to the minister.
Pappas noted that the space sector has generated a seven-fold return on investment worldwide in recent years.
The Greek official expressed confidence that such steps towards a modern, digital economy would help end the brain drain Greece has suffered from during its economic crisis.
The president of the Hellenic Space Organization, Stamatis Krimizis was appointed at Monday’s event. Krimizis is a member of the Athens Academy and Head Emeritus of the space department of the applied physics laboratory at Johns Hopkins University who has contributed to many of the US unmanned space exploration programmes.