smart news


here you will find what I find interesting from the NEWS

(when I have a free minute / not every day)

Sincerely, SMSB


Latvia Starts Testing 1st Baltic Satellite; Negotiations Under Way on Launch into Space

Venta-1, the first satellite in the Baltic states, has been successfully built and is currently tested in Latvia, the Baltic News Service was told at the Ventspils City Council. According to the Rīga-based newswire, negotiations are under way with Indian, Russian, and US companies to launch the satellite into the orbit, said Indulis Kalniņš of the University of Applied Sciences Bremen, one of the specialists involved in the satellite’s creation. BNS also reported that the satellite’s engineering model was displayed during a presentation at the Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Center on August 31. Latvia’s first satellite, Venta-1, has been made within an educational project, the newswire reported, implemented by the Ventspils High Technology Park and the University of Applied Sciences Bremen in association with specialists from the University of Latvia and the Rīga Technical University. Kalniņš told BNS that Venta-1 was a new, unique satellite, weighing 7.5 kilos. The satellite will be used for a ship navigation system AIS developed by Germany’s OHB-System AG. According to BNS, the satellite will be used to monitor ship traffic and navigation. The satellite will be receiving ship identification signals and transmitting them to navigation services on the ground. Venta-1 will also be able to send short text messages to ships, BNS reported. The spacecraft will be equipped with a camera and a laser reflector for research purposes.

August 30 – September 5, 2011 , Latvia in Review Issue 35

Horizon 2020 – New name for the future EU funding programme for research and innovation [Brussels 21st of June 2011]

Statement by Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn on the outcome of the competition to name the future EU funding programme for research and innovation. I am very pleased to announce that “Horizon 2020” is the winner of our “You Name it” online vote to name the future EU-funding programme for research and innovation. Three names were shortlisted. Horizon 2020 received 3 055 votes against 2 785 for Imagine 2020 and 2 478 for Discover 2020. 8 318 votes were received. The full name that I shall be putting forward towards the end of this year as part of the legislative proposal for the new programme will therefore be: “Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation”. [Date published on SMBS: 25/06/2011]

From COST Events: Understanding Extreme Geohazards: The Science of the Disaster Risk Management Cycle

Extreme geohazards are the cause of major disasters. Most of the lives and property lost to disasters caused by geohazards are lost during extreme events. Although extreme geohazards are infrequent and restricted to certain geographical regions, their potential impact is huge and of global scale. [Date published on SMBS: 23/06/2011]

Galileo: October take off for EU satellites

The launch of the first two operational satellites of the EU’s global navigation satellite system will take place on 20th October, the European Commission announced today. This is just the first of a series of launches due to take off from Europe’s Space Port in Kourou, French Guiana. The launch of the Galileo satellites at an altitude of 23.600km will lead to the provision of initial satellite navigation services in 2014. Successive launches will complete the constellation by 2019.


Prime Minister Dombrovskis Wants Better Representation for Latvia in High and Mid-level Offices in European Commission

source: Latvia in Review Issue 20 May 16-22 2011 by Latvian Institue

On May 18 2011, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis emphasized that Latvia’s representation in high and mid-level offices in the European Commission could be better.

After meeting with Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission’s Vice-President for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration,  who is currently on a visit to Latvia, Dombrovskis said that over 200 Latvians were working for the European Commission.    

At the same time, Latvia’s representation in high and medium-level offices could be improved because five Latvian representatives hold high offices and 15 representatives are in mid-level offices,” the Latvian premier said.

Sefcovic agreed that there should be somewhat fairer representation of the member states but pointed out that the formal objectives regarding representation of citizens in the European Commission had been met.

He said that it might be possible to reduce representation of large countries in responsible offices by appointing to them representatives of smaller countries. Latvian representatives have all the chances to climb to responsible offices as many of them were currently working for various European Commission services which was a starting point if one wanted to rise to the top level, Sefcovic said.

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