Astronomer Jaan Einasto is donating a portion of an international prize to fund research grants for the post-ESTCube generation.
Einasto, who won the Viktor Ambartsumian award last summer along with a Russian professor, Igor Novikov, said he will use a $50,000 (€38,000) share of the prize to start up a new fund for supporting astronomy and space technology students' research.
The academician, internationally regarded for his work uncovering macrocellular patterns in the apparent chaos of the universe and studying dark matter, said it was important that "Estonia become a home for bold and enterprising people who can be trusted partners in international cooperation."
"Outer space is inspirational and powerful. I am thrilled by my young colleagues and students who have sent Estonia's first space satellite into orbit, who are studying dark matter and seeking the secrets behind life's origin. There are so many secrets out there yet to discover, but we can contribute to finding the solutions," said Einasto.
The Viktor Ambartsumian international award is awarded by Armenia's president to outstanding astronomers or astrophysicists and has a cash prize of $500,000.