The Committee on Space Research of the Swiss Academy of Sciences coordinates and stimulates space research in Switzerland. It maintains contact with international organisations like ESA's science program and COSPAR. It produces a report every two years on space science activities in Switzerland (see publications).
Space research in Switzerland is carried out by many groups at universities, federal institutes of technology and private companies. The funding for this research comes mainly from these institutions, with additional essential contributions from the Swiss National Science Foundation and from the Federal Government.
The breadth and depth of the research carried out in Switzerland in this area cannot be summarized in a few lines. Here we just indicate the various areas of research (see publications for more details).
The planets, the sun, the stars and the universe
Swiss scientists are involved in all stages of spaces missions, from the planing and construction phases to the gathering and exploitation of the data. This is usually done in the context of fruitful international collaborations either with ESA (SOHO, ROSETTA, MARS EXPRESS, VENUS EXPRESS, BEPICOLOMBO, XMM-NEWTON, INTEGRAL, GAIA, …) or with NASA (STEREO, HESSI, IMAGE, AMS, …).
There are also two centers in Switzerland directly connected to space research: The International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern and the INTEGRAL Science Data Center (ISDC) in Versoix.
Different groups will also use the International Space Station (ISS) for their experiments.
All projects including the development of new technology and/or the building of space platforms and instruments involve undergraduate and graduate students and therefore contribute significantly to the formation and the next generation of scientists and engineers. Last but not least, these projects are carried out in close collaboration with industry which is an essential partner in these activities.
Earth Observation Activities
Earth observation activities are carried out at many universities in collaboration with groups from all over the world.
Activities are based on a fleet of earth observation satellites from Europe, USA, India, Canada, Japan and can be gouped in four themes: 1. basic research; 2. research activities with application potential; 3. operational applications and services; 4. instruments, data retrieval and centers of competence.
Swiss researchers in weightlessness are actively preparing their experiments for the ISS and during the assembly of the ISS will use parabolic flights and sounding rockets.
Swiss Committee on Space Research (CSR)
c/o Prof. Dr Stéphane Paltani
University of Geneva
Department of Astronomy
Chemin d'Ecogia 16