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Latvia in the space industry

vostok-1, first man in space, Jury Gagarin, RD ALFA Microelectronics, medal in honour of 40 years since the frist flight to the cosmos, space


• There are strong traditions of Space Research in Latvia. The roots are found in the beginning of the last century in connection with the famous Friedrich Zander.

• Historically Latvia has been strongly developed in two directions of space technologies– engineering and material sciences.

• Since the 1950’s Latvian scientists have participated in more than a hundred world-level space programs. Key contributions have included the manufacture of the first satellite  telescope and range finder, the production of isolation materials for soviet rockets, & other applications.

• Up to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Latvia took part in several significant space programs including:
   • Isolation material development for construction and launch of the first satellite “Sputnik – 1” (in 1957);
   • First manned flight to space in “Vostok-1” (Yuri Gagarin) the first human spaceflight in history (In 1961):
   • “LUNOKHOD” – robotic rover for investigation of the surface of the moon and obtaining images (in 1970);
   • “Buran” and its launch vehicle “Energy” - orbital vehicle program (Starting from 1988).

• Further Latvian space exploration and technology developments influenced by USSR space exploration policy. These have included development of geodesy science,  (measurement and representation of the Earth) as well as military research policy.

• This days RD ALFA Microelectronics works in co-operation with Latvian Space Technologies Cluster and European Space Agency.

* Source http://www.vatp.lv/sites/default/files/space_technologies_in_latvia.pdf

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