Poland in space? It’s not a joke!

Poland in space – few words about Polish space achievements.

Poland in space? It’s not a joke!

Space is not only for big players

Space business is one of the industry branches that are developing very rapidly, bringing new technologies and knowledge to the world. But unlike other Big Science – e.g. CERN – it’s the most media and popular at the same time, because the greatest discoveries are primarily associated with science-fiction and are conducted in space, among alien planets and stars. Such associations lead to the conclusion that only rich and large countries can participate in the race to the stars. But it’s not true.


Polish Space Agency logo

Polish Space Agency logo

Communism in space

The beginnings of major Polish participation in space exploration are the ‘70s, when the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences was established. Of course, earlier, for example, Polish scientists and engineers worked on the Meteor rocket and shortly after the creation of CBK, the only Pole until today, Miroslaw Hermaszewski, flew to the space.

Due to the fact that a number of research groups from various institutes were included in the structures of CBK, a strong team was gathered quite quickly. Two years later they sent the first Polish scientific instrument into space – JONOSOND – on the Interkosmos satellite. The following years had further successes, mainly related to the USSR space program, e.g. instruments aboard the Vega mission to Halley Comet.


Cosmonauts Pyotr Klimuk and Miroslaw Hermaszewski, source PAP/Tadeusz Zagozdzinski

European cooperation – together with Poland

It was CBK that was the precursor of all cooperation with European space entities. In 1991 cooperation with ESA began, and in 1999 with EUMETSAT. CBK educated people who years later were able to develop Polish private space companies. The impulse for that was also joining the European Space Agency. Because of the fact, that contribution from Poland to ESA should get back to Polish entities through e.g. contracts, it’s a self-propelling development mechanism for companies from the sector. To strengthen this effect, as in the case of every new ESA country, the PLIIS program – Polish Industry Incentive Scheme – was opened, which was a series of tenders dedicated only to Polish entities. It was the direct source of the most of successes of the Polish space sector.


Wstąpienie polski do ESA było przełomem dla polskiego sektora kosmicznego

Joining ESA was a breakthrough for Polish space sector

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