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Space research in Spain


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Work done by: Julia Matyjasiak and Sandra Esteve 4ºESO C Ramiro de Maeztu highschool.

Published in: Education, Technology
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Space research in Spain

  1. 1. INTRODUCTION Research, science and technology aerospace are very important in the scientific and technical development of a country. This fact, recognized worldwide, has been expressed by saying that the best example of the technical level of a country is its aerospace technology. The importance of science and technology aerospace as sources of air (and in the future in space) and as basic element of military power, and even the international prestige of nations, are too obvious to need commenting. However, other aspects, such as the possible economic benefit can provide the country or the influence of Aerospace science and technology have on the development in many branches of science and technology.
  2. 2. INTA Space Technology in Spain is adjacent to the creation of the organization INTA. This institution was created by the Spanish Ministry of Defense. It stands for “Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial”, in english “National Institute of Aerospace Technology”. It was founded in 1942 and currently is situated in Torrejón de Ardoz, about 20 km away from Madrid. Today, INTA receives around 200 million euro and has about 12 hundred employees. Its main objectives are improving, testing, certifying aerospacial technologies and equipment. Other than Torrejón de Ardoz, there are many INTA establishments all over the country, like a testing area in Granada or in Huelva, and a satellite station in Maspalomas, Gran Canaria. Some projects that INTA is developing include turbojet engines.
  3. 3. MASPALOMA STATION The first space related program of INTA was a collaboration with NASA beginning with a large seminar in 1960. The seminar covered many space-related subjects and was very thorough. Also in the year 1960, Spain and America agreed to establish the first NASA space observation centre - The Maspaloma Station. The first program of the station(1960-63) was the Mercury program – the station took part, along with other stations around the globe, in what was the first real space program in the history of USA, when John Glenn was the first American and fifth person to take flight in the “Friendship 7”. After the Mercury program, extensions to the station were built so it could take part in the Gemini program (first spacewalk) from 65 to 66. Later when Spain wanted to participate in the Apollo program (68-72), it turned out that a big problem was a great influx of tourists, which was why a new station under the same name was built. The Apollo program was one of the most important space programs in history of mankind, as Apollo XI was the first spaceship to land man on the moon. In time of the program Maspalomas operated “Skylab”, the first American space station. In 1975 it participated in the Soviet-American Apollo–Soyuz Test Project. At the end of this mission collaboration with NASA ended, but the station was taken over by Comisión Nacional de Investigación del Espacio. It now works for the European Space Agency, American National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Spanish Minisat, Hispasat, Helios and Cospas/SARsat satellite programs.
  4. 4. ROBLEDO DE CHAVELA STATION In 1964 the Robledo de Chavela station was founded, also in cooperation with American NASA. In 1965 it received the first pictures from another planet, which was Mars. In 1977, a fifth large antenna was added to the station, which made it the most important in all of Europe. From then on, Robledo de Chavela station partook in all of NASA projects, like (chronologically) to Mars, the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. It cooperated in the mutual missions of NASA and ESA, like Ulysses, a space studying probe (1994-2009), SOHO, another sun study which began 1995, the Cassini-Huygens satellite mission which was supposed to examine the rings of Saturn, the black matter on its moon Iapetus, study the largest moon Titan and the magnetoshpere of the planet. Other projects are, in collaboration with West Germany, Helios A and Helios B. The station is, naturally, still important in the aerospacial development of Spain and Europe today.
  5. 5. THE ARENOSILLO LAUNCH RANGE The Arenosillo launch range was established in in collaboration with NASA and France. It was created to study the atmosphere. First two sounding rockets were launched in 1966. The launch range is close to Huelva and has overal good weather conditions for conducting aerospacial activity. It is still open today.
  6. 6. THE CEBRERO AND FRENDESILLAS STATIONS The Cebreros and Frendesillas stations were extensions of the Robledo de Chavela station, located in Avila and in Fresnedillas de la Oliva and Navalagamella. They were important for the solar system exploration missions but were deactivated, Cebreros in 1983 and Frendesillas in 1985, with all the equipment, including a large 26 metre antenna, moved to Robledo.
  7. 7. INTASAT AND SPANISH SATELLITES The exospherical endeavours of INTA in collaboration with NASA include satellites. The first one was INTASAT, a weather satellite. The project of INTASAT began in 1968 and the satellite launched on the 15th November 1974. It had a lifespan of 2 years. The next one was launched in 1995 with the collaboration of the University of Madrid – the UPM-Sat 1 was a 47 kg, was flying at the altitude of 670 km and completed a lap around the Earth every 98 minutes. The next satellite in this collaboration will be launched in 2014. Next satellites were Minisat01(1997) Nanosat 01 (of 2004), Nanosat 1B (2009) which is still active and its main task is communication between Antarctica, Spain and the polar research ship BIO Hesperides (A-33). The newest satellite is the Xatcobeo, a satellite created by the collaboration of INTA and the University of Vigo. The tracking station of the spanish satellites (Nanosat 1B and Xatcobeo) The Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex in Robledo de Chavela, 63 km from Madrid. The MDSCC was a very important communication centre in the past, for example for the Apollo 11 project and lesser ones like the Mars Express satellite, Venus Express satellite, the Rosetta probe to Mars, the Cassini-Huygens which was supposed to examine the rings of Saturn, the black matter on its moon Iapetus, study the largest moon Titan and the magnetoshpere of the planet. It communicates with the two Voyagers, which contain golden disks that have the recordings of music, languages and different sounds that are supposed to be a way of communicating with extraterrestial beings.
  8. 8. SPANISH COLLABORATION IN SPACE Spain is one of the most important members of the ESA (European Space Agency) and, through it, one of the owners of the International Space Station. With a contribution of 85 million € per year, ESA maintains multiple antennas in our country's space exploration and a Quest Tracking Station in Villanueva de la Cañada (Madrid). Also on hand of our European neighbors, Spain participates in the design and construction of some of the ships and equipment that ESA ships outside the boundaries of the land. This is so because our country is one of the main partners of EADS, a leading commercial aircraft manufacturer, Airbus and military equipment besides cosmonautic equipment.
  9. 9. SPAIN AND ESA ON A HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Spain participated in the intereuropean ESRO in 1962 (European Space Research Organisatio n) program, formerly (Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire). It had many places that were formidable for space research to offer, like the Canary Islands and paid 2.66% of all research costs. It was the precursor to ESA. European countries needed to become a unify to bear the costs of space research, because they hadn't the economical power of USA nor the USSR. The space race between the USA and USSR played a large part in the Cold War, but Europe did not compete. They did however, decide to participate in space exploration, in a smaller way. ESRO, following the ESA convention in 1975, merged with ELDO in 1980, an organization created in the same time in 1962. From the 70s, when USA and USSR finished the space race. Later, Spain partook in spacial activities, like the building of the Ariane rocket family.
  10. 10. SPAINARD IN SPACE Pedro Duque Duque was the first Spanish person to make it to space. In 1986 he earned a degree in Aerospacial Engineering. He became a candidate for a space flight in 1992. After training in the US and Russia, he boarded the STS-95 on 29th October 1998. His next flight was on the STS-128 in 2009. Overall, he spent 18 days 18 hours 46 minutes in Space.
  11. 11. SPAIN AND SPACE Sciences Research in Space, can't be addressed by an only country, neither NASA space agency because it's very expensive. Spain owns several of the world's leading centers in the field of space. It is the administrative base of the International Observatories. Spain opened one of the best projects worldwide: the world's largest telescope. The Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex is the only NASA facility in Spain. Inside centers on Spanish soil, Tracking Station European Space Agency and the Centre for Control and Monitoring of Hispasat. The ESA has built a new antenna to complete its network of space exploration. Among all organisms, the stand out within the spatial landscape Spanish, is the National Institute of Aerospace . One of the most important contributions of Spain to the European Space Agency is held with the National Research Council . Spain 's contribution to space research is not limited to its participation in the European Space Agency, but also participates in the European consortium.