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Hungary plans to send an astronaut into space

December 9th, 2019

A liberal commentator believes Hungary can be much more productive in space research on Earth than in space.

In Heti Világgazdaság, Péter Hamvay believes the government’s plan to send a Hungarian to the International Space Station from a Russian space base is a propaganda move which will hardly pay off. 39 years after the first Hungarian went into orbit around the Earth aboard a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Péter Szíjjártó announced last week that a Hungarian will be flown into space around 2025. Hamvay takes that idea as a very poor PR project and thinks that the deceased Arthur Finkelstein – who was Fidesz’s campaign guru for a full decade – would have come up with something much more striking. Meanwhile, besides Bertalan Farkas’s first Hungarian space voyage, which was a pure formality, Hungary has seriously contributed to space research through various instruments that still operate aboard the space station. At present, Hungarians and Russians are working together on developing an artificial satellite which will be equipped with Hungarian measuring instruments. Such forms of co-operation are much more effective, Hamvay concludes, than just sending a passenger into space aboard a Russian spacecraft.