Estonia Likely to Join European Space Agency Next Year ({{commentsTotal}})

The Minister of Foreign Trade and Entrepreneurship, Anne Sulling, began the first round of negotiations for Estonia to join the European Space Agency (ESA). Successful talks should lead to Estonia being accepted as a full member to the ESA as early as September 2015.

Joining ESA will open up new opportunities to Estonian enterprises, such as access to high-tech laboratories, new infrastructure and business ventures. In addition, Estonian citizens will have the option to apply for jobs at ESA and university students will have internship opportunities.

Sulling said Estonia joining the space agency gives the nation's enterprises an opportunity to make high-tech research, which can be used in different lines of work.

Experience from other countries has shown that developing space applications has a considerable effect on the economy. For example an Estonian company, called Skeleton Technologies, has developed, incorporation with ESA, innovative energy storage units, which are popular in the car industry (European and USA alike), said Sulling.

Negotiations, which began today, focus on ESA industrial policy as well as on legal and financial aspects which are involved with the merger.

The European Space Agency is an institution which currently incorporates 20 countries to work on space related research.

Estonia became a space nation last year, when successfully launching the ESTCube satellite into space.

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