Latvian space professionals go to EXPO 2020 Dubai; women given a special role during Space Week

From 17 to 30 October, a number of Latvian scientists and industry representatives are taking part in the Space Trade Mission held alongside the International Astronautical Congress. This event will bring together more than 6,000 space professionals from around the world, sharing insights into developments in space academia and the industry, and providing new networking opportunities, contacts and potential partnerships.

The aim of the trade mission is to establish contacts with aerospace companies, as well as to use the EXPO as a global platform to network and develop various cooperation opportunities with the Middle East countries, promoting the development of Latvian space companies. Latvia is represented in Dubai by the ‘Latvian Space Industry Association’, ‘2AM’, ‘ALLATHERM’, ‘2AM’, ‘EVENTECH’, ‘Latvian State Institute of Wood Chemistry’, ‘Institute of Solid State Physics, University of Latvia’, ‘Mission Space’ and ‘Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Centre’.

"I am very pleased that LIAA, the Ministry of Economics and the Ministry of Education and Science have worked together to bring the Latvian space industry to the EXPO and related events. Joining the European Space Agency's has opened up many opportunities for our industry to expand its market presence. This is the first time Latvian companies have gone global with their space expertise and the first time they will participate in the Astronautical Congress, the industry's biggest event. Our tasks here are very practical - to look for export partners, to develop new technologies and to find new customers," says Pauls Irbins, President of the Latvian Space Industry Association.

A special role for women in the space economy


The EXPO will also host the Space Week 2021, the first of its ten thematic weeks exploring collaborative solutions to the various technological challenges of our time.

Space is not only about exploration, but also about the ecosystem as a whole, which also offers significant opportunities for our economy. From exploring asteroids, space tourism, designing more economical and sustainable rockets and space equipment, to satellites providing broadband internet and invaluable data for sustainable development – the space sector is expected to generate revenues of more than USD 1 trillion or more by 2040, compared to USD 350 billion today.

"The challenges the space industry is facing are not just technological as the industry has a new task to complete: to change the perception of space as a man's world. It is therefore important to mention that the Space Week 2021 will also include a session on ‘Mission Equality: Equal Empowerment in the Space Economy’ in a dedicated women's pavilion, which aims to ensure equal opportunities for women to participate in shaping this new space market. Latvia is proud Ksenia Moskalenko, founder of Mission Space, is among the panellists. It is the first private company to be commercially involved in space weather research," says Inga Ulmane, Head of LIAA's Representative Office in the United Arab Emirates.

In less than a year, the company has already been selected to participate in the world's leading space technology accelerators. According to Ksenia, space weather forecasting will be as common as checking your email or making a call on Zoom. Meteorologists have struggled for decades to be taken seriously.

"The global economy could lose between USD 2.4 and 3.4 trillion due to severe space weather, various studies suggest. Our technology includes a variety of sensors and artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms that analyse space weather conditions. The combination will allow early monitoring of the risks of power outages, reduce losses when flight paths are changed, contribute to the development of radiation-hardened materials for satellites and reduce the social and economic impact after magnetic storms," said Ksenia.

The world fair EXPO 2020 takes place from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.