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ESA sets out bold ambitions for space
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Jun 19, 2022

Josef Aschbacher, Director General of ESA

ESA has put forward its ambitious plans for the next three years and beyond to increase European autonomy, leadership and responsibility in space.

Spacefaring nations worldwide are investing heavily in space and Europe must raise its game to maintain its position and reap the economic and scientific benefits while working to protect life on Earth from space hazards, Josef Aschbacher, Director General of ESA, told delegates to the ESA Council Meeting held on 14 and 15 June.

The war in Ukraine has curtailed decades of peaceful international cooperation and highlighted how urgently Europe needs to further develop its own space capabilities.

It is essential that Europe always has access to space in order to monitor and mitigate climate change, to provide secure communications that are under European control, and to offer rapid and resilient responses to any crises in Europe and beyond, for example.

Every three years, ESA proposes new projects and programmes to its Member States to boost the use of space for the benefit of European cititzens. The plans for the next three years are thoughtful, considered and pragmatic. They are the result of careful evaluation, and are driven by ESA's ambition to realise the full potential for space to improve life on Earth and to position Europe and ESA as a global space power by 2035.

Josef Aschbacher, Director General of ESA, said: "People on Earth want a safer, cleaner world, free from the dangers caused by climate change, by war and political unrest, dangers caused by natural disasters, or caused by the careless use of natural resources. Europe's achievement in space are excellent - but we can do much more. ESA wants to expand Europe's ambitions and successes in space for the decades ahead."

Space missions stimulate technological innovation and scientific discovery. By committing to the missions of the future, Europe commits to fulfilling its potential and retaining its talent.

ESA will also help to answer the very human need to understand our place in the Universe and why and how the cosmos is as it is. Today, all Europeans have benefited from ground-breaking missions that were commissioned decades ago. Now, ESA wants to prepare missions that will make the next generation proud, inspire those who will build a science-based economy and advance scientific understanding for further generations to come.

Everyone relies on space every day. ESA is working to ensure that essential services are secure and that the objects that orbit the Earth are well managed.

Meanwhile the rise of commercial use of space is transforming the space industry worldwide, fostering innovation and creating jobs and prosperity.

Now that the June ESA Council Meeting has been completed, the agency has taken another step along the road to the ESA Council of Ministers meeting that will take place in November and will set the agency's priorities for the next three years.

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NASA, ESA discuss sending first European to Moon
Paris (AFP) June 15, 2022
The European Space Agency and NASA on Wednesday talked up the prospect of putting the first European on the Moon, as they signed a deal strengthening collaboration for future lunar exploration. The space agencies had already agreed that three European astronauts would fly on the Orion spacecraft to NASA's Gateway, a space station that will orbit the Moon as part of the Artemis programme. Now it seems one of those astronauts will go a step further. "We look forward to having an ESA astronaut ... read more

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