Monday, November 22, 2010

Blooming space countries

        When it comes to talking or writing about space missions, what does one immediately think of?  Any guess? One is immediately reminded only of Nasa, the European Space Agency, the the Russian Space Agency, Chinese National Space Adminstration and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency. Of course, sometimes India's Isro gets bracketed with this powerful group, since this country is now an acknowledged space power.

        Unfortunately, not much is really known about the space programmes of other smaller countries because they do not have the capacity to publicise their progress, though perhaps limited, like for example Nasa. Henceforth, therefore, periodically ``Beyond Moon and Mars,'' will attempt to highlight the achievements of those space agencies which are not much in the lime light.

        To begin with, how many are aware that Romania has its own space programme and is managed by the Romanian Space Agency? Again while much has been written about the numerous experiments which will  flyi in the final flight of space shuttle, ``Discovery,'' tentatively slated for December 3,2010, to the International Space Station (ISS), do you know that a project of the Romanian Space Agency is also a part of this much-delayed mission?

        According to the agency, the Romanian experiment has been created for the ISS by the Romanian Institute For Space Science. The experiment deals with the survival of coloured fungi in space. It is an experiment designed to determine the effect of microgravity and cosmic radiation on the growth and survival of coloured fungi species.

       The Romanian Space Agency also called Rosa was first established in 1991 and reorganised by a government decision in 1995. Since its inception is has undertaken a number of space projects having both national and international interests. The international projects have been designed and developed under the authority of the European Space Agency, the European Commission and the United Nations.

       Rosa colloborated with the Romanian minstry of defence, ministry of foreign affairs, ministry of agriculture and environment, ministry of interior, ministry of telecommunications and IT and also the Romanian Intelligence Service.

       Romania became a full member of the European Space Agency this year and participates in its missions.

      God Speed Romania.


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