Reflections from the International Astronautical Congress 2014 in Toronto - Wednesday
The third day of the Congress began with the extensionof the range of our promotional materials by American company XCOR Aerospace. Last year, the CSO signed with this company an exclusive agreement on becoming an authorized partner for ensuring the preparation of experiments for the Lynx suborbital rocket plane, which is currently being built at the headquarters of XCOR in Mojave Desert. Besides number of printed materials and small promotional items we installed two beautiful all-metal aircraft models Lynx Mark I. The intention is to give one of them on Friday to the winner of the visitors contest we launched today.
Our booth was thus all the more frequently visited and the Congress participants were also interested, in addition to CSO activities, projects, and capacities in the Czech Republic, in cooperation with XCOR Aerospace. "The visitors interest in plans of cooperation amng CSO and XCOR Aerospace assured us that we are heading in the right direction. On Thursday, we will conduct two negotiations on the future projects with XCOR. I hope that our effort to keep up with the global trend will help to Czech workplaces and Czech Republic as a whole," says Michal Václavík, CSO staff responsible for cooperation with XCOR Aerospace.
Today we have also visited several booths of universities and start-up companies focused on building small satellites and CubeSats. During the discussions, we were interested not only in their purpose, but also in a way of funding and motivation which led to the action. "It is sad to watch the Czech Republic missing the boat in the area of small satellites. In Italy, for example, a group of four college students with their professor have founded a start-up, they have launched several CubeSats and now provide launch services on a commercial basis. Our governmental management structure focuses more on form than a content of the space. And this is not good because we have capable individuals and teams, but the support from the state side is so far zero," Josef Šobra of CSO judges the situation in the Czech Republic.
CSO staff also participated in meeting of some of the technical and advisory committees of the International Astronautical Federation. Today, it was KTMC committee that addresses the knowledge management and sharing of experiences. "This committee is unlike most of others relatively young and doesn't have formulated specific activities yet. Now, we are working hard on its preparation together with our partners from space agencies and other organizations," explains Michal Kuneš from the CSO. He also participated on Saturday IMPCO committee, which was established during the International Astronautical Congress in Prague in 2010. IPMC focuses on international project management in the aerospace sector. At Saturday's meeting, we presented our current activities to support the project management. "We appreciate the membership in this committee, because it is very beneficial for Czech organizations. Thanks to it, we were able to send several employees of Czech companies on a weekly international project management course, which takes place twice a year at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Also the Czech Space Office has thus the opportunity to discuss issues of project management in aerospace at the highest international level, benefit from the experience of its partners and to disseminate this information in Czech community," says Michal Kuneš.
Today, there was also carried out the annunciation of winners of the best poster competition. In this competition, there was involved our poster created in cooperation with our colleagues from Kosmonauta.net that is dedicated to the Czech and Polish space industry, its development after the Czech Republic and Poland joined the European Space Agency and mutual comparison and identifying areas that need to be improved.