VIDEO: One small step for the European Union’s spaceflight goals?

by | Oct 20, 2009 | Seradata News | 1 comment

In the above video European Commission (EC) president José Manuel Durão Barroso, recently appointed for a second term, extolls the virtues of space for society at ‘The Ambitions of Europe in Space’ conference held on on 15 and 16 October. But its the timing of this conference that speaks louder

This conference, which apparently brought together members of the European Parliament, EC, Council of the EU, agencies, industry, research entities, [satellite?] operators, financing institutions and the media – Hyperbola was in Korea at the time – has occured just before the 1st EU – European Space Agency international conference on human space exploration that is being held on 23 October in Prague – Hyperbola is attending this

Since 2003 the EU has been developing its space policy with green papers and white papers and agreed a joint European space policy with ESA in 2007. The green and white papers mentioned human space exploration but it was never included in the policy – under which “space councils” are held for coordination between the two organisations

The EU has funded research carried out on the International Space Station and ESA would be very happy with another source of funding for its activities. One beneficiary of this new relationship could be the Advanced Re-entry Vehicle (ARV) cargo return capable spacecraft. Starved of the €300 million in funds it was originally thought to need for a 2011 go-ahead for a 2016 entry into service this spacecraft could be the basis for “Europe” to pay for its astronauts to work on the ISS from 2016 to 2020 and beyond

After the ESA member states failed to stump up the cash the EU, which is awash with money not spent for its largest programe, agriculture (so much so it is paying for Galileo satellite navigation programme cost overruns with some of it) it could provide the missing €260 million


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