Portuguese Space Agency promotes space education and outreach discussion at IAC

The panel "Future of Space Outreach – International Rocketry Competition" brought together the organizers of the European Rocketry Challenge, Spaceport America Cup, and representatives from Australia and South Africa linked to space outreach.

With less than a month to kick off the 3rd edition of the European Rocketry Challenge – EuRoC, the first European competition of its kind, the Portuguese Space Agency hosted a panel dedicated to space education and outreach at the 73rd International Astronautical Congress (IAC).

The 2022 edition of the IAC, the world’s largest global space event, takes place in Paris, France, between the 18th and the 22nd of September. This year, Portugal is represented with its largest delegation in a congress where more than 7.000 participants are expected.

With the panel “Future of Space Outreach – International Rocketry Competition“, the Portuguese Space Agency seeked to boost the discussion and interest around space education, one of the strategic pillars of the Portugal Space 2030, the Portuguese strategy for Space. Therefore, this conversation was about Space outreach and education, focusing on rocketry competitions, mainly the European Rocketry Challenge (EuRoC), organized by the Portuguese Space Agency since 2020.

The panel took place this Tuesday, September 20, between 11h10 and 11h40 CEST, in Room N01, Hall 7, at the Paris Convention Centre. Ricardo Conde, President of the Portuguese Space Agency, moderated the discussion that brought together Melissa K. Force, General Counsel from Spaceport America Cup, Andiswa Mlisa, Interim CEO of the South African Space Agency, Brenan Dew from the Australia Space Discovery Centre of the Australian Space Agency, and Marta Gonçalves, Education and Science Officer at the Portuguese Space Agency.

“Space education and outreach are the cornerstones of the sustainable development of Space for humankind’s benefit. By bringing together people from different European countries and with diversified cultural experiences, the Portuguese Space Agency wants to contribute to the future workforce of the Space sector, especially relying on STEM literacy”, says Ricardo Conde.

“The Portuguese Space Agency gathers hundreds of European students from a wide range of countries yearly at EuRoC. EuRoc is starting to be established as a flagship competition for students in European universities. We look forward to turning it into an even more international event. Discussions like this one will help us in that direction”, states Marta Gonçalves, Education Officer of the Portuguese Space Agency and project manager of EuRoC.

EuRoC is a rocket competition for European university teams organized by the Portuguese Space Agency since 2020, in partnership with Ponte de Sor municipality and, more recently, with the support of the Portuguese Army. The competition is the only one of its kind in Europe and expects to receive 20 teams and around 600 students from October 11 to 18. “Now in its third edition, we can say that EuRoC is a mandatory stop for these European teams,” says Marta Gonçalves.

Portugal at IAC with its largest delegation ever

The Portuguese Space agency is leading the largest Portuguese delegation that has ever attended the International Astronautical Congress, comprising six companies: GEOSAT, AIR Centre, TEKEVER, LusoSpace, EMA Espaço and Omnidea. Also present in the exhibition are Neuraspace, the Portuguese startup working on space debris and space traffic management, Deimos, GMV and D-Orbit.

“Portugal is represented at the highest level by companies and institutions that work in diverse fields, which shows how complex and complete the national space ecosystem landscape already is”, sustains Ricardo Conde


Portugal Space
20 of September, 2022