Some of You might have seen my twitter status stating that I have some bad news. I finally can write more about it.
You probably don’t know what ESMO is, so I’ll start with an explanation – ESMO or European Student Moon Orbiter is project led by ESA with – surprise surprise – students from a large number of European best Universities. It so happens that after some very hard work our three best Univs managed to qualify into that project. Contacts have been made, studies are well underway. However things suddenly turned for the worse a bit over a month ago. Even so the government agreed to lay funds for the project, the formal request for 130.000 Euro, which is a really insignificant sum, has been denied by the Ministry of Economy. Reason? The undergoing worldwide economical crisis (which is funny to hear considering the fact we were the only country in Europe that still have a rise of GDP!)
Anyway, this puts our teams at risk of being removed from the project. What’s more – they have been denied even a trip costs to a free, week long workshops that dealt with spacecraft engineering, which resulted in them not going. The only three teams that were not there.
As You might imagine the situation is grim. One University already declared that they will no longer support their students. Two others are seeking outside sponsorship (with only partial success).
The irony is that at same time Ministry of Economy is willing to lay additional 1 mln zł (around 250.000 Euro) beyond already reserved 5 mln Euro to support celebrations of Solidarity anniversary.
Fortunately we managed to create some rush around the subject and one TV station picked it up. Result? Today a delegation will go for a meeting with Minister of Science and Education. Will it bring any effect? We’d have to wait for that.
So, as You might imagine an action of sponsor seeking is underway. Some funds have already been declared by Polish Space Research Center and by Warsaw University of Technology. Of course that’s not enough, so the future is still uncertain at this point.
Looks like not only US Space Program will have war over funds…
Cheers, hope You had better days.