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Ohio State inks collaboration agreement with European Space Agency

On September 28 at the 2016 International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the European Space Agency (ESA) and The Ohio State University that will promote research and education collaboration in space-related engineering, science, law and policy.

The MOU provides for an exchange of faculty, fellows and scholars for lecturing, advanced studies and research, as well as an exchange of scientific and technological literature.  It also will provide a foundation for joint workshops and conferences.

Horack (left) and ESA Director Jan Woerner “This is, in the most basic sense, a bridge,” said Neil Armstrong Chair in Aerospace Policy John Horack, who has a joint appointment with the College of Engineering and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. “The agreement connects Ohio State's academic and research environments in a more meaningful and useful way to the European space community and the member nations within ESA.

He added that the MOU will enable more discussions of mutually beneficial opportunities and on how to use spaceflight to create positive social, economic, educational and quality-of-life outcomes for people around the world.

The MOU was jointly developed between the leadership at ESA and College of Engineering Dean David B. Williams, Glenn College Dean Trevor Brown and Professor Horack.

“The space community is a closely-knit group, and when it became clear that I was coming to Ohio State, I immediately began to work with our leadership and space leaders around the globe to understand what kinds of relationships we might be able to build,” said Horack. “ESA is the first, and at the International Astronautical Congress I have discussed Ohio State's value propositions with leaders of other space-faring nations and agencies.”

Established in 1975, the European Space Agency is made up of 22 member states. ESA's space flight program includes human spaceflight, the launch and operation of unmanned exploration missions to other planets, Earth observation, science, telecommunication, and designing launch vehicles. It maintains a major spaceport— the Guiana Space Center—in French Guiana.

Story by Matt Schutte, College of Engineering