SpaceTEM is a project of the Estonian-Latvian cross-border cooperation program of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which aims to promote the development of the NewSpace, private space technology sector, in Latvia and Estonia through several interconnected activities. The SpaceTEM project offered paid summer internships to students, where they could gain positive experience working with real industry problems and developing their communication skills.
During the SpaceTEM closing conference, the guests were informed of the project results and the visitors of the event had the opportunity to learn about the latest achievements in space technology and to identify areas where cross-border cooperation between Estonia and Latvia could take place in the future. Project partners from Latvia and Estonia attended the closing conference.
The first part of the conference discussed the results of the SpaceTEM project and visitors could listen to the SpaceTEM experience stories of a trainee. This was followed Andris Slavinskis and Pauls Irbins talking about how Estonia and Latvia can cooperate on the moon and asteroids in their exploration and even in the field of mineral extraction. Furthermore, the conference participants engaged in discussions that jointly presented potential cooperation opportunities for Latvia and Estonia. The role of radio telescopes owned by the Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Center (VIRAC) in the study of the moon and asteroids was also highlighted many times.
During the second part of the conference, various speakers from Estonia told about the need for a space law. After the presentations, participants of the conference were engaged in discussions on the subject, and in small groups, participants suggestions were made on whether a space law was needed and what areas and activities this law should cover. Good examples of these laws would be the maximum number of satellites a company can launch in a given Earth orbit, and how the delivery of satellites away from the Earth's orbit should be regulated to avoid increasing the amount of so-called “space debris”.
It is worth noting that the SpaceTEM project has not only enabled youth to become involved in space-related companies and scientific institutions to acquire new knowledge and contacts, but has also enabled companies and institutions to reach talented young people to engage in their future activities by offering them a permanent employment. Such institutions include VUAS, which as a result of the project has managed to attract and employ several new specialists in the scientific sphere.