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Hungary ‘doing well’ in meeting its space strategy goals

Hungary is "doing well" in meeting its goals set down in its space strategy, a government official has said.

A country as small as Hungary must find “breakout points” for entering the global space market, Orsolya Ferencz, the foreign ministry’s commissioner for space science, said, discussing space research with Tibor Navracsics, the regional development minister, at a civic roundtable in Tapolca, in western Hungary, on Friday evening.

China, India, the Gulf states, Turkiye, Israel, South American and Far East countries have entered global space research, and Europe is making strenuous efforts to stay at the top, she said, adding that the space industry was likely to generate direct revenue of around 1,000 billion dollars in 2030-2040. While Czechia has 300 space industry companies, Hungary has a mere 40, she noted.

Navracsics noted that Hungary’s space strategy was adopted in 2021 after two years of consultations, and he asked about Hungary’s chances in the global space race. Ferencz said: “It’s the right moment for us, the moment when everybody is at the starting line setting up companies and launching services. It’s capability rather than size or population that matters,” she said, adding that Hungary’s first space strategy was designed to cover a ten-year period, and its first detailed review is set for next year.

The launch of a university space engineering course, UniSpace, in collaboration with 17 Hungarian universities and the public-private Hungarian astronaut programme, Hungarian to Orbit (HUNOR), which will send the second Hungarian astronaut to space for 30 days, were both “important”, she said, adding that out of the four applicants shortlisted for the mission, two will be selected for further training in Houston at the end of this year, she said.

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