The European Parliament has approved the creation of the EU Space Program (EUSPA) whose agency will be headquartered in Prague.
The goal of the project, which will run a budget of EUR 14.8 billion, will be the construction of a series of satellite systems that will provide data and services to public and private sectors. It will be an expansion of the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GNSS) which has its headquarters in Holešovice and has been managing the EU’s Galileo satellite system for the past 9 years.
Ondřej Šváb, Head of the Department of Space Technologies and Applications at the Ministry of Transport said the approval of the project was an “opportunity for Czech companies, innovators and research institutes”
“Satellite navigation and Earth observation are used in a wide range of fields, such as transport, logistics, agriculture, natural resource management, environmental monitoring and smart cities. Autonomous systems will also largely depend on satellite services,” Šváb stated.
The program will be overseen by the European Commission in Brussels, and in addition to the EUSPA, will be in close collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA). The ESA will be heading up the construction of the satellite systems as well as researching new technologies.
Last year, the Czech Republic invested more than 1.2 billion CZK into the development of space technologies, including flexible solar panels for satellites, rocket parts, and satellite data processing.
Following further negotiations, the official launch of the EU Space Program is set for June 22 in Brussels.