Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó and Director of Russian space research company Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin agreed on the commencement of Hungarian-Russian space research projects and on the beginning of the selection process of the Hungarian astronaut to be sent up to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2024-2025 at a meeting in Moscow on Friday.

“The ongoing space research projects in Russia that already include Hungarian added technological value will be officially continuing as joint Hungarian-Russian space research projects”, the Minister said in a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI. “As one of the most important goals of Hungarian-Russian space research and space technology cooperation, we have now officially decided that a Hungarian research astronaut should begin working on the International Space Station by 2024-2025. We will be beginning the required selection and training processes immediately”, he added.

The Minister explained that there are currently three space research projects underway in Russia that already include Hungarian technological added value. These are primarily aimed at producing fleets of micro-satellites and modernising the equipment of the International Space Station (ISS). “We are now officially making these projects joint space research and space technology projects, in which we will be increasing both the quantity and added value of Hungarian participation. This represents a fantastic opportunity for the Hungarian space industry”, he declared.

“The Hungarian space industry may currently sound like science fiction, because we don’t talk about it a lot, but the fact is that Hungarian space industry enterprises and the research groups of Hungarian universities that are involved with the space industry and space technology are international renowned, and their performance is acknowledged worldwide. It is no accident that the level of Hungarian added value in the aforementioned currently ongoing Russian space research projects is extremely high, even if this is not a well-known fact”, he stated.

The Minister told the press that sending the new Hungarian research astronaut up to the ISS can be realistically achieved in 2024-2025. “The goal is for a Hungarian research astronaut to personally take the space industry instruments that have been developed using Hungarian technology and added value up to the space station, and to be able to perform research using them on the ISS for a period of 3-6 months”, he explained.

“We have also made major progress with relation to financing in view of the fact that the costs of this research and of sending a Hungarian research astronaut up to the International Space Station will not have to paid fully in cash, but instead the Russian party will be including Hungarian added intellectual property and the results of Hungarian research in the Hungarian party’s financial contribution”, Mr. Szijjártó declared.