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Sander Visiting the European Spaceport

March 02, 2009
From Tuesday 3 to Thursday 5 March, the Danish Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Helge Sander, will be visiting the European Spaceport in French Guyana in South America. Preparations for launching the Planck satellite, which contains Danish technology, are now well under way.
– For many years, Denmark has been engaged in European space collaboration. So I look forward to visiting the Spaceport and to hearing about the Danish engagement, says Science Minister Helge Sander.
– Space research gives unique opportunities for acquiring new knowledge. Everyday tools such as mobile phones, GPSs and weather forecasts can only work because satellites are orbiting in the sky above our heads.

Just now, the launch site in French Guyana is preparing to launch the Herschel and Planck satellites, the launch being planned for 16 April this year.

Danish researchers have contributed to developing the mirror that will be carried by the Planck satellite. The mirror system is intended to give more knowledge about the origin of the universe.

– In the climate area, we will also benefit from the activities in space. For instance, ESA has just initiated new programmes intended to monitor the melting of ice at the poles. It is therefore important that we continue to give a high priority to space research, says Helge Sander.

In November 2008, a globalisation agreement between the Danish political parties (the Liberal-Democratic Party, the Conservatives, the Social Democrats, the Danish People's Party, and the Social-Liberal Party) made more funds available for space research. It was agreed to allocate DKK 60 million in 2009 and DKK 75 million in 2010 for climate-oriented space research.

As a result, the overall funding of space research has been given a marked boost compared with recent years. In 2007, the total allocation was about DKK 182 million, and in 2008 about DKK 192 million, while it will increase to DKK 260 million in 2009 and DKK 273 million in 2010.

Science Minister Helge Sander can be contacted via the Ministry's press officer, Charlotte Holst, phone +45 22 11 02 00 or chhh@vtu.dk.

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