Greece may soon find itself excluded from the European Space Agency (ESA) while it has already lost its right to vote, since it has not paid its financial contribution to the ESA for the last three years, Thessaloniki University astrophysics professor Loukas Vlachos told ANA-MPA radio ‘Praktorio 104.9’ on Tuesday.
“The astrophysics science community cannot see itself outside the ESA,” Vlachos noted, saying that the problem arose largely because of the constant personnel changes at the General Secretariat for Research and Technology, as well as the lack of an overall strategy.
“The countries that joined the ESA also drew up a strategy to boost the scientists in their country and get back the money that they pay,” he pointed out. “If in the last 10 years we had developed the companies in the sector, we could have collected enough money in taxes and in assistance from the ESA in order to have space activity in Greece from the point of view of technology. The ESA wants to give to us but we, on our part, must make something,” he said. The annual contribution to the ESA ranges between 8-10 million euros.
The professor also talked about the significance of discovering water on the planet Mars, including the higher possibility of finding at least microbial life on the planet.