Polish children and students meet astronauts
As part of worldwide activities to celebrate the 50 years of space exploration, Polish children and students had the chance to meet European and American astronauts in Warsaw, to hear at firsthand about living and working in space.
The conference, entitled ‘Space for humans – the past 50 years and beyond’ was organised by the Polish Academy of Sciences' Committee on Space Research, the Warsaw University of Technology and the Space Research Centre PAS, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the start of the space age. ESA supported the event by providing speakers and items such as posters, panels, CDs and DVDs.
The first day, 2 October, was school- and university-oriented. ESA, Russian and NASA representatives and the Chairman of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space gave lectures on space exploration, international cooperation and the solar system.
On the second day, Polish children and young students were invited to join a competition to present their vision on the next 50 years of space exploration. Shannon Lucid, an American astronaut, and Jean-Pierre Haigneré, a European astronaut, awarded the winners telescopes, ESA school atlases and other prizes. Children and students had the chance to talk with the astronauts and had many questions on the experience of living in space and how to become an astronaut.
Poland has a long-standing tradition of space and activities and participates in many ESA projects. This was formalised on 27 April this year, when it became what is known as a European Cooperating State (ECS), joining Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania. Poland is currently selecting, together with ESA, the specific areas and projects for cooperation, to be included in the Plan for European Cooperating State (PECS) Charter.