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Hungary plans to send an astronaut to space in 2024, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said at a European Space Agency ministerial conference in Seville on Wednesday.

“The space industry is becoming one of the most important industries,” he told the conference dubbed Space19+.

“This will be another opportunity for Hungary to develop and push forward, focusing on the training of the second Hungarian astronaut to be sent to the International Space Station — which we consider a realistic plan for 2024 — in cooperation with Russia’s Roscosmos,” he added.

He told the conference that this week the second and third satellites of Hungary’s space industry will be launched from New Zealand, and these will initially be used for measuring electromagnetic smog in the stratosphere.

Future goals include Hungary sending an independent satellite to orbit the Earth, Szijjártó said. Additionally, in cooperation with Russia, Hungarian scientific and measuring devices will be sent to the International Space Station by 2024. Also, a space weather mission is in a preparatory phase, involving building a micro-satellite fleet, he said.

Hungary’s new foreign economic and political aspirations include once again participating in the peaceful use of space, Szijjártó added.

He said Hungary will next year celebrate the anniversary of the first Hungarian astronaut’s journey to space in 1980, and Budapest will host a space research conference on the occasion.

Featured photo illustration via pixabay.com