On Saturday, 1 July 2023 at 17:12, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Euclid mission launched from Cape Canaveral, USA, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Czech companies participated on the project with contracts worth 100 million CZK (4 million EUR), which were funded from the contribution of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS) to the ESA Science Programme.
Euclid lift-off, source: ESA – S. Corvaja
The Euclid mission was selected in 2011 as the second medium-class mission of the ESA Science Programme. It aims to investigate the composition and evolution of the dark component of the Universe, i.e. dark matter and dark energy. The Euclid telescope will make observations of billions of galaxies out to a distance of up to 10 billion light years, creating a large 3D map of the Universe. Euclid will investigate how the Universe has expanded and its structure has been shaped over its history, revealing more about the role of gravity and the nature of dark energy and dark matter.
Testing of Euclid, source: ESA-Manuel Pedoussaut
Contracts of Czech companies
Czech companies have managed to win contracts worth almost 100 million CZK (4 million EUR), which were funded from the contribution of the MEYS to the ESA Science Programme. Atos IT Solutions and Services supplied the equipment for testing of the Euclid spacecraft, Frentech Aerospace participated in the development and production of the payload module, and L.K. Engineering provided thermal control for the payload module. SERENUM participated in the development of the antenna that will ensure the transmission of data from Euclid to Earth. Terma Technologies Czech Republic provided other supplies for the testing of the probe.
Integration of Euclid spacecraft, source: ESA – S. Corvaja
ESA is an international organisation dedicated to cooperation in space research and development and applications of space technology. The MEYS’s contribution to ESA’s R&D programmes will reach EUR 14.2 million EUR in 2023. The total Czech contribution to ESA, including the Ministry of Transport, will reach 61.8 million EUR in 2023.