Minister sees satellite launch as springboard for development

Vitanje, 14 October - Zdravko Počivalšek, the minister of economic development and technology, sees the recent launch of the first Slovenian satellites into space as a technological breakthrough for the country that will benefit its economy.

Space technology can contribute to making the Slovenian economy smart, creative and green, he said on Wednesday at a ceremony at the Noordung Centre, which is dedicated to Slovenian space travel pioneer Herman Potočnik Noordung.

Two Slovenian satellites were successfully launched in September and are currently in Earth's orbit.

The Nemo HD is a 65-kilo micro-satellite which will produce panchromatic and multispectral images, while Trisat is a 4.4-kilo nanosatellite capable of taking multispectral images of Earth in short-wave infrared spectrum.

"These satellites create opportunities to use the information from space in everyday life: in industry, agriculture, the energy sector and the public administration. We now face the big challenge of how and where to proceed," he said.

Slovenia has been an associate member of the European Space Agency (ESA) since 2016 but has been in talks on full membership. Počivalšek said the membership agreement could be signed in the coming days.

Full membership would give the country access to finance, new partnerships and new information. Consequently, economic development will accelerate towards products and services with higher value added, he said.