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Anniversary - The Space Research Institute celebrates its fiftieth birthday

Anniversary – The Space Research Institute celebrates its fiftieth birthday

Vienna. This postponement was celebrated due to the pandemic Graz Institute for Space Research His fiftieth birthday is on Tuesday. Austria has been successfully launched into space since 1971. Thanks to scientific know-how and high-precision instruments, the largest institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences contributes to the exploration of the universe on board many space probes. The “Mission Impossible” exhibition about his story has been on display at the Graz Center for Scientific Activities since December.

In July 1969, space exploration experienced a boom with the first manned landing on the Moon. At that time, the first Austrian measuring instrument was launched into space on a research rocket. Two years later, the IWF was founded in Graz, where it was to put space research on a new scientific basis.

Today, the institute is developing space-based devices capable of measuring, analyzing and interpreting what is happening in the far reaches of the universe. Over the past half century, the International Monetary Fund has participated in more than 40 space missions. To this end, it has developed more than 100 flying instruments. Space technology has already moved from Graz to Saturn and its moons with the Cassini/Huygens mission, to a comet for the first time on the Rosetta mission and to Mercury with BabyColombo. Aboard Jos, it was launched on the icy moons of Jupiter and with Plato the IWF will explore planets outside our solar system.

In one place since 2000

German astrophysicist Christian Helling has headed the institute since October 2021, and is thus at the head of a team of about 100 employees from 20 countries – divided into eight research groups.

With Helling, the IWF’s research focus increasingly shifted in the direction of exoplanets. Their exploration takes science to worlds far away, light years from Earth. More than 5,000 samples have been discovered so far and the number is increasing every day.

For a long time, the institute was divided into three sites. In 2000, the competencies were finally gathered under one roof in Graz. “Exploring extrasolar planets requires a multidisciplinary approach, which we will build upon at the Space Research Institute and expand the core work related to objects in our solar system,” says Helling.

The services of the Space Research Institute have made a significant contribution to the development of Austria into an internationally recognized and important space site over the past 50 years. This success was celebrated on Tuesday with prominent actors.(grill)