Slovenia is reaching for the stars!
Since Slovenia became an Associate Member of the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2016, its activities in the field of space and space technology have increased significantly.
Training for future space missions in Slovenia
In 2019, astronauts from five space agencies have been training in Slovenian caves for space missions as part of the CAVES programme by ESA.
Besides providing them with knowledge of geological processes and observation techniques, such cave training helped astronauts to develop skills that will enable them to collect samples of water, stone and minerals.
Slovenia’s associate ESA membership is valid until the end of 2021, but the goal is full membership for 2024.
The launch of the first two Slovenian satellites
Since 3 September 2020, Slovenia is one of the fifty countries on earth to have its own satellites in space.
The first two Slovenian satellites – the Trisat nanosatellite with a mass of only 5 kilograms is designed to test the robustness of new space electronics, while the Nemo HD microsatellite with a mass of 65 kilograms is used to interactively observe the Earth’s surface in the short-wave infrared spectrum, invisible to the human eye.
Read more about two Slovenian satellites in space HERE!
Research in the field of space physiology and medicine
The Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI) in Planica has been researching the impact of oxygen deficiency for both athletes and astronauts for years. This summer it will stand alongside Germany and France as one of three certified laboratories for conducting biomedical research, which is a great achievement for the Slovenian research institute.
“Our research on the loss of muscle mass caused by exposure to weightlessness has been very successful and high-profile, so we’ve gained ESA’s confidence to incorporate it into its network of labs,” head of the program at the Department of Automation, Biocybernetics and Robotics Igor Mekjavić says.
ESA is looking for NEW astronauts!
After more than a decade, the European Space Agency (ESA) is looking for new astronauts, and applications are also open to Slovenes.
They are looking for four to six so-called career astronauts to be recruited as permanent staff and deployed on space missions. At the same time, they are also looking for 20 “reserve” astronauts and astronauts who could be selected for special missions.
Applications on the website www.esa.int will be open from 31 March to 28 May, and the following October they will inform the selected candidates.