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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » September 30, 2011
Politics & Society
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News in Brief
September 30, 2011   
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Lem to Fly High
Poland’s first research satellite will be named “Lem” after Stanis³aw Lem, Poland’s greatest science-fiction writer. The name was chosen in an online poll and officially announced Sept. 19 at a ceremony held at the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. Science Minister Barbara Kudrycka unveiled a special plaque at the Space Research Center to mark the occasion.

Poland’s first research satellites, the Lem and the Heweliusz, are being built at the Space Research Center and the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences as part of a project conducted jointly with the University of Vienna, the Graz University of Technology, the University of Toronto, and the University of Montreal. The Ministry of Science and Higher Education has assigned zl.14.2 million for the project.

The Lem satellite has entered the final phase of lab tests and before it is deployed into space it will be put to a final test: 1,000 hours of nonstop operation. “If anything is to go wrong, it will happen here and now, and not in space,” said Roman Wawrzaszek from the Space Research Center.

The Lem satellite will be put into orbit around Earth in 2012 and the Heweliusz satellite will follow a year later. Both satellites will most likely be launched on a Russian rocket. Once in orbit, the Lem will receive instructions as to which section of the sky to watch and what data to send to a station that is currently under construction at the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center.

The Polish satellites are being developed under a project called BRITE-PL, which is part of the international BRIght Target Explorer Constellation project (BRITE). They will orbit the Earth 800 kilometers above ground along with four other similar satellites built in Austria and Canada.

According to Piotr Orleański, the technical head of BRITE, the construction and deployment of the first satellite will lay the foundations for a Polish satellite program. “So far, Poland has placed around 50-60 different instruments in space and several of them are still in operation orbiting Earth and Mars or are on their way to comets,” Orleański said. “But until now we have never had an entire satellite of our own.”

The satellite will spend several years carrying out precise measurements on the brightness of 286 stars. The data will help researchers verify theories concerning the internal structure and thermodynamics of stars.

U.S. Accreditation for Ko¼miński University
Ko¼miński University is the first business school in Poland to have been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), joining universities such as Harvard and Yale. The AACSB is the world’s oldest accrediting institution for business schools that offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in management, business and accounting.

Ewa Barlik, spokeswoman for Ko¼miński University, has said the AACSB accreditation will help the university compete on the international market and strengthen its brand among foreign students who look at international accreditation and standings before they choose which school to attend.

Ko¼miński University has now become one of 53 schools around the world to have the three most important accreditations: AACSB, AMBA (Association of MBAs) and EQUIS (European Quality improvement System). Most triple-accreditation schools are exporters of educational services. Ko¼miński University also aims to provide such services. Around 33 percent of its students are foreigners and the university aims to increase the figure to 50 percent.
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