Mihnea Costoiu: Romania to produce two nano-satellites that will be put in orbit

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Romania will entirely produce two nano-satellites at the Institute of Space Sciences at Magurele (near Bucharest), which are part of a 'constellation' of 50 nano-satellites that will be launched internationally and will have the mission to research the high atmosphere of Earth, a project financed through the European Space Agency, said Minister Delegate Mihnea Costoiu on Sunday.

Minister Delegate for Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technological Development Mihnea Costoiu told a press conference of his visit to the United States of America and of the subjects dealt with during the talks with US officials.

'The visit had the International Space Exploration Forum and the visit to the NASA as its central point and I want to thank the American Space Agency for the out-of-the-ordinary cooperation I was given. At the end of this meeting between the NASA and the Ministry of Education, namely ROSA, the Romanian Space Agency, they decided on the cooperation in projects of interplanetary exploration in the field of nano-satellites. In the constellation of 50 nano-satellites that will be launched at world level Romania will have two satellites, besides the United States, Japan, Germany or Italy, and the participation in this exercise is extremely important for us,' said Costoiu.

He explained that NASA declared in favour of supporting the Romanian side with experts and know-how as well as in favour of supporting the achievement of the space research chapter in the Romanian research strategy.

'Soon after this visit I got the confirmation from the NASA administrator, General Charles Bolden, that he would visit Romania this year for presenting the opportunities of space research to the young people and companies of Romania,' said Costoiu.

According to the minister, in the International Space Exploration Forum, Romania is one of the most important scientific forces of Eastern Europe in this field. It is the second European state to be accepted as a member of the European Space Agency. "Thanks to this status Romanian scientists will participate in the new missions of exploring the Moon, in the missions of exploring the planet Mars and the planet Jupiter. Romania will be assigned the area of creating the radiation environment which is to be found around the planet Jupiter. Practically the platform at Magurele will host these experiments through which we shall try to simulate this radiation environment, a research work that has effects practically too on the analysis of the effects of these radiations on the communications satellites," said the Minister Delegate.

Mihnea Costoiu added that, together with chairman of the National Council of Rectors Sorin Cimpeanu, they established understandings so that, starting on July 1, 2014, they should be able to launch the projects on the bilateral exchanges between the universities of Romania and the US ones, as well as the fact that the George Washington University accepted to host the section of the Romanian language and culture in Washington. The first chair of the Romanian language, culture and civilization is to be set up in the capital of the United States.

In Portland, Oregon, a Romanian-American school is also to be founded, with US financing, but also with private financing.

"In Portland there is one of the most important Romanian communities in the United States, one of the most active ones, a community that managed to create a cultural centre and which, for more than two years, has been trying to lay the foundations of a Romanian-American school financed by the American State, the so-called 'public charter school,' benefiting by the new American legislation, and I am happy that, by our being there, we were able to give support and were able to discuss, to negotiate with the American partners for the foundation of this school and we hope that the school will be set up this year. As a matter of fact, on behalf of the Government, we have mentioned the support we are willing to give to the foundation of this school both with teaching material and with teachers, if need be, as well as with specialist software on which the ministry has already been working," added Costoiu.

He also said that, in the second part of his visit, he met US officials such as John Holdren, adviser to President Obama on science and technology issues, and various representatives of the Department of State.

During the visit they approached the question of consolidating the strategic partnership between the US and Romania in research and financing the joint research projects, starting in autumn 2014, with the manager of the National Science Foundation as well as with the US Department of Energy.

"We have also established the participation of American experts in drawing up the national strategy for higher education and research and development as well as the support of the academic exchanges to add to the ones offered by the Fullbright program, which was signed last October by Minister Pricopie in Washington," said Costoiu.

Minister Delegate for Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technological Development Mihnea Costoiu paid an official visit to the United States on January 6-14. AGERPRES

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