On 8th July an Agreement was signed in Prague enabling the Czech Republic’s accession to the ESA Convention. Signatories were Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA, and Mirek Topolanek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic already has a strong tradition of space exploration. For example, Vladimir Remek of Czechoslovakia went into space in 1978. Since the early 1990s, ESA has negotiated and concluded framework co-operation agreements with a number of central and eastern European countries. The Czech Republic signed such a Co-operation Agreement with ESA in 1996, requesting more specific collaboration.