IAC Naples: Space agency heads note they have to specialise while ESA backs away from having own manned system

by | Oct 10, 2012 | Seradata News | 0 comments

At the plenary session held at the International Astronautical Congress involving all the main heads of the world’s space agencies, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden hailed international cooperation as the way forward, even though he had to sheepishly admit that NASA had, for a time, put the Exomars missipn at risk when it withdrew its financial support for a launch.  That mission was later saved by the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Bolden noted that most space agencies were facing financial difficulities in the face of govermental cutbacks.  “We are facing a fiscal crisis,” he said. Neverthless, Bolden noted that NASA would continue to be at the forefront of exploration but that commercial space activity would fill in the void behind it as he advanced. Bolden suggested that this trend woudl continue in the future noting that there would be a time when “governments and agencies take over interstellar travel,  while industry and companies take over interplanetary travel.”

The fate of the Internatonal Space Station (ISS) loomed large at the conference wilth Enrico Saggesse of the Italian Space Agency suggesing that low Earth orbit was “astronaut friendly” and that now the ISS is built, it should be used.  “But how long should we use it?”  he asked.

There was a general acceptance that operations should continue beyound 2020, though JAXA’s President, Keiji Tachikawa,  noted that the Moon and Mars should be the next destinations. Servey Saviliev, Deputy Head of the Russian Space Agency indicated that a Russian-built mulitfunctional module would be attached to the International Space Station in the 2013-14 time period.

With respect what each nation should be doing for spaceflight, some suggested that  nations did not have the finance to do everything but that they could specialise.  As he promoted this model Canada’s Space Agency head, Steve Maclean noted his nation’s prowess in robotics, optics and radar technologies.  Maclean had earlier described how Canada was working on new medical diagnostic tools that can be used in orbit – though we warned that it was not quite up to the fictional tricorder of Star Trek fame.

Enrico Sargesse took up on the concept of countries specialising on key technologies, reporting that Italy had also developed centres of excellence.  That said, Sargesse also noted that much of Italy’s space industry was actually part of international firms and that specialisations were spread across several nations.

When asked whether Europe would ever have a manned capability of its own, Head of the European Space Agency, Jean-Jacques Dordain explained that  Europe would probably stay out of developing its own manned space system noting that soon there could soon be too many manned capable systems able to reach orbit.   “Do we need four or five (manned) systems?  Certainly not!”  He said.   Nevertheless, Dordain did think that Europe could contribute key technology for manned systems.   Specifically, Europe hs offered its ATV as the basis of a service module for NASA’s Orion manned spacecraft.

With respect to future manned cooperation in space, China’s representative on the plenary Yafeng Hu (Hu Yafeng) of the China National Space Administration. hinted that one day China’s space stations would welcome other astronauts.

With respect to China’s closest space competitor in Asia, P.S. Veeraghavan, Vice Chairman of the ISRO council, noted that India had not yet fully commited to building a manned spacecraft but was working on several of its technologies to do so.  These included life support and manned escape systems.

As the plenary sessoin ended, all the agency heads hoped that the world’s public would realise just how dependent on space they were becoming.  Charles Bolden even challenged America to see if it could operate without direct or spin-off space technology.

 

 

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

CAPSTONE suffers communications woes as it approaches Moon

NASA has reported a serious communications issue with its CAPSTONE mission to try out an orbit for its future lunar Read more

Atlas V launches two USSF payloads: WFOV and USSF-12 2 (Corrected)

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully launched an Atlas V 541/RL-10 C1/GEM-63 launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral, USA at 2315 Read more

Aspiring launch provider Relativity Space is selected by OneWeb to provide launches for its Gen 2 satellites

OneWeb signed a "launch services agreement for multiple launches" with upcoming American launch provider Relativity Space on 30 June. According Read more

ISRO successfully launches PSLV-C53 with solar cell covered last stage becoming a satellite in its own right (Corrected)

India's space agency and industrial conglomerate, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has successfully launched its PSLV CA rocket on Read more

SpaceX launches C-band telecomms satellite SES-22

At  2104 GMT on 29 June, a SpaceX Falcon 9v1.2FT Block 5 rocket was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, USA. Read more

Airbus UK receives order for FORUM – the ninth ESA Earth Explorer mission

ESA has selected Airbus UK, Stevenage, to lead the FORUM construction project, according to an announcement on 28 June. The Read more

D-2/Atlacom-1 satellite changes hands mid-orbit

New-space satellite manufacturer NanoAvionics has sold off the D-2/Atlacom-1 satellite that is already in orbit – a rarity since satellites Read more

Electron launches NASA funded CAPSTONE mission to test Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit planned for Lunar Gateway…but then contact is lost (Updated)

Rocket Lab successfully launched an Electron rocket from Māhia Peninsula, New Zealand, at 0955 GMT on 28 June, to an Read more

Categories

Archives