Hungarian Space Research Office
1042 Budapest, Szervita tér 8. 1st floor. Phone: 317-8717. Fax: 266-6728.
Hungary’s space activities are supervised by the minister of transport, communication and water management. The space policy making body is the interdepartmental Hungarian Space Board, headed by political secretary of state. The managing unit is the Hungarian Space Office (HSO), supported by the Scientific Council on Space in nearly 30 institutes (teams in research institutes, university departments, etc.) with a personnel of about 300 scientists and engineers.
The HSO was founded in 1992. Recently four main research fields have emerged for all Hungarian space activities, these are: Space-Earth systems, space physics, space biology, and space technology.
The main tasks of the Hungarian Space Office are: to co-ordinate the applications of scientific results in various fields of space activity; to take part in international cooperation; to preserve, maintain and develop the intellectual and technical value of Hungary’s space research and application potential; to represent Hungary in international space related organizations; to promote space-related undergraduate and postgraduate education; public relations activities through publications, lectures and conferences.
The international relations of Hungary’s space activities involve two main areas, the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA. We have signed a general cooperation agreement with ESA, we are member of its PRODEX scientific program and have recently begun negotiations on accession to the ESA Convention as an associate member. We are also preparing a general agreement with NASA. Beyond these two fields, we are collaborating with Russia, the Ukraine, India, Poland, and Romania.
The emphasis within Hungary’s space activity is shifting towards the practical applications of the results. The most important fields are the agricultural, environmental and urban planning applications of satellite remote sensing, space meteorology, materials sciences, and telecommunications.
The most important ESA project in which Hungarian scientists and engineers are taking part is the Rosetta comet probe, to be launched in 2003. We are making efforts to send up some instrumentation and participate in experiments on board of the International Space Station (ISS). Some particular equipment to be used on board the ISS are the Pille thermoluminescent dosimeter and a space furnace called the Universal Multizone Crystallizer. Hungary participates in life science and materials science experiments as well.