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From Argonauts to Astronauts, Greece Is Preparing To Get to the Moon

April 9, 2019(EIRNS)—The Hellenic Space Organization (ELDO), created in March 2018, is preparing Greece to participate in the exploration of the Moon, which will at some point involve the first Greek astronauts. This will be made possible by an agreement between ELDO and NASA, in which ELDO will become a partner NASA’s mission to establish a permanent presence on the Moon by 2024, as President Donald Trump announced on March 26.

ELDO has signed a Joint Declaration of Cooperation with NASA on the sidelines of the World Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, on April 8. Signatories included ELDO CEO Georgios Mantzouris and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine with Greek Minister for Digital Policy Nikos Pappas and ELDO Chairman Christodoulos Protopappas also present. NASA Administrator Bridenstine said: “This time we will go to the Moon to stay. And another thing that is unique is that when we go to the Moon, we will go with a coalition of international partners. And we are excited that the Hellenic Space Agency, which has now completed one year of operation, will be with us this time we return to the Moon.”

Under the agreement Greece will take part in the Lunar Orbital Platform—Gateway (LOP-G) and exchange of information and data for academic and scientific research, as well as include participation of Greek educational institutions in international programs, among other benefits.

ELDO intends to land, via the LOP-G, its own robotic lunar vehicle to carry out exploration and experiments. It is expected to take place in 2022.

Minister Pappas stressed:

“Today’s agreement is historic. One year after the establishment of Hellenic Space Organization, Greece will go to the Moon. It will be in the small group of countries in the history of humanity who have sent their own vehicle to the Moon. The Greek research community does not have to envy any of the research communities in other countries and I think we have a section that will give a new breath to both the research and the international displacement of Greece.”

Mantzouris, said:

“Today is a historic day for Greece, I am very happy and at the same time very excited because after nine months of hard work we manage to sign today a joint cooperative agreement with NASA based on two pillars: a) General space cooperation; and b) Sending the robotic vehicle to the Moon. The benefits will be immense for society, science, the economy, but especially for young people. That’s why we urge young people to join the Hellenic Space Organization and we all come to realize this co-operative agreement that we just signed up to. As CEO of ELDO, I am pleased to announce that we will shortly be in the process of completing the staffing of the organization, and with all our efforts we will serve the strategic goals that the state has set for the period until 2040 and who knows.... “

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