09.11.2020

Space Technology Centre has emerged as new AGH UST unit


Members of AGH Space Systems taking part in an international competition; photo: AGH UST Archives

AGH UST has launched a new research and educational unit – Space Technology Centre, whose role will be to promote, among other things, research and education in the area of space engineering.

CTK’s main areas of activity will include in particular: scientific research into space exploration, development of inter-disciplinary space technology research teams, promoting cooperation with other AGH UST units as well as research and development centres in Poland and abroad. The Centre will also focus on developing technical resources and laboratory facilities, expanding AGH UST’s research and development portfolio in space technology as well as fostering cooperation with partners from the space industry and related sectors. CTK will also develop syllabuses for specialised programmes in space technology.

Space Technology Centre, whose originator is Professor Jerzy Lis - AGH UST Rector, was created as a result of the European Commission conferring on AGH UST the prestigious title of the European Space University. The UNIVERSEH (European Space University for Earth and Humanity) Consortium comprises the AGH University of Science and Technology and four other European universities from France, Germany, Luxembourg and Sweden. Thanks to the awarded project, AGH UST will contribute to the development of education, science and technologies related to the exploration and exploitation of space. One of the first actions to have been undertaken by the Consortium was the establishment of the Space Technology Centre.

The projects and studies into space technologies conducted so far at AGH UST include innovative designs of rockets, space probes, Mars rovers and stratospheric balloons, which have been developed by students – members of the AGH Space Systems research society. In addition, AGH UST has been fostering rapid advances in space mining with the involvement from experts from the Faculty of Mining and Geoengineering and the Faculty of Drilling, Oil and Gas. What is more, AGH UST has joined forces with the Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences on the project called “LOOP – Landing Once on Phobos”. The results obtained by the research team will be used for a planned mission involving a rover landing on one of Mars’ moons. The research conducted at AGH UST is part of a project launched by the European Space Agency (ESA). We also note that AGH UST students have constructed KRAKsat – a satellite that was launched into space last year. The Antares 230 rocket, which carried the satellite, lifted off from the NASA-owned Wallops Flight Facility located on the East Coast of the USA.

Professor Jerzy Lis - AGH UST Rector said:
“At the Space Technology Centre we will first and foremost cooperate with our partners within the UNIVERSEH European Space University. We are planning, among other things, to provide, together with them, specialist education in this area as well as fund foreign scholarships for students interested in space technologies. We will also support the ongoing research and student projects into space research that have already been launched at AGH UST. We will also seek very close cooperation with companies from the space sector and space agencies all over the world. We have already established relations with NASA and ESA as well as top-class companies from the aerospace sector, including Airbus and Thales. Space engineering is for us, as a university, a signpost for the forthcoming years, if not decades. I hope that the new unit, which we are launching, will promote academic entrepreneurship based on real insight into the space industry.”

The recent addition to the AGH UST campus is yet another – alongside the Academic Centre for Materials and Nanotechnology and the Centre of Energy – unit which focuses its activities around developing and expanding the choice of both research and educational programmes on offer in one of the most prospective sectors of industry.