The Estonian flag is now proudly flying at European Space Agency (ESA) sites alongside other member states, after Estonia officially became ESA’s 21st member state.
The agreement on Estonia’s accession was signed in February 2015 and the process was concluded last month. Estonian delegates started participating in ESA Council meetings from October 21.
Estonia already spends millions of euros annually on space-related matters, including new financing for national R&D activities decided last year and a contribution to European meteorological organization Eumetsat.
The country is a contributor to the EU Common Space development project and to Europe’s Copernicus environmental and monitoring and security system.
The Observatory of Tartu, University of Tartu and Tallinn University of Technology have for years also provided back-up in strong research facilities, especially in astronomy and astrophysics.
In 2013, Estonia became the 41st nation to have a man-made object in space, when its first satellite, ESTCube-1, was rocketed off to orbit the Earth. Around 100 students and scientists contributed to creation of the tiny one-kilogram satellite, which was nearly six years in the making. The satellite was used as the basis for 40 research projects and three doctoral theses.
Editor: S. Tambur