Germany invests 3.3 billion euro in European space exploration and becomes ESA's largest contributor
by Staff Writers
Berlin, Germany (SPX) Nov 30, 2019
The German delegation at the European Space Agency (ESA) Council Meeting at Ministerial Level, 'Space19+', was headed by the Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy, Thomas Jarzombek, who is a member of the Federal Parliament. He was accompanied and supported by representatives from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (Bundesministerium fur Wirtschaft und Energie; BMWi) and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (Bundesministerium fur Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur; BMVI). Walther Pelzer, German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Executive Board member responsible for the Space Administration, also participated in the negotiations. Together with his team from the Space Administration in Bonn, Pelzer prepared working-level German position papers for the meeting in consultation with Federal Government officials.
At the end of the conference, Thomas Jarzombek stated that: "After two days of intensive negotiations, Germany has committed a total of 3.3 billion euro for European space programmes over the next three to five years. In setting out our priorities, we have shown that we are a reliable partner for ESA. To achieve our goal of strengthening small and medium-sized German space companies, we have doubled our funding for the relevant programmes. To address the challenges of climate change, Germany has increased its investment in Earth observation to 720 million euro. We have also succeeded in enabling the European lunar mission with a high level of commitment - 55 million euro."
At 'Space 19+', a total of 14.4 billion euro were committed. At 22.9 percent, Germany is now ESA's largest contributor, ahead of France. Specifically, Germany has committed approximately one billion euro to the ESA mandatory programmes. In addition to the general budget, these include the science programme and the European Spaceport in French Guiana. Approximately 2.3 billion euro of the German contribution will go towards what are referred to as the optional programmes: ~720 million euro for Earth observation, ~330 million euro for telecommunications, ~160 million euro for technology programmes, 84 million euro for space situational awareness and security, ~490 million euro for space transport and operations, and ~550 million euro for human spaceflight, microgravity research and exploration.
The German financial commitments in detail
Germany is participating in the Future Launchers Preparatory Programme (FLPP) with ~137 million euro. The focus will be on the development of a cost-effective lightweight upper stage (for example, constructed using carbon-fibre reinforced composite materials), improving the performance of existing and new engines (Vulcain NEO, Vinci Evolution) and the implementation of new processes and methods (for example, additive manufacturing). Under the name 'Commercial Space Transportation Services and Support' (CSTS), ESA is taking forward a new optional programme in the context of NewSpace. Germany is contributing ~28 million euro to the 'Commercial Space Transportation Services' element, which broadly supports industry in the development of new space transport services, particularly in the field of microlauncher technology.
Earth observation for climate protection and collaborative development
In addition, Germany is contributing ~170 million euro (~26 percent) to the 'FutureEO' scientific programme. Ten million (out of 50 million euro) has been allocated to the new 'Global Development Assistance' (GDA) programme. 'InCubed+' is aimed at short-duration commercial Earth observation activities with private sector backing -Germany is contributing 15 million euro. In addition, Germany is supporting a small Arctic satellite mission (Demonstrator, NewSpace approach) to improve short- and medium-term weather forecasts in the Arctic region with 7.5 million euro.
"Germany is very well positioned in the satellite telecommunications sector. Our aim is to increase the competitiveness of components and support system capabilities with a focus on secure communications - the keyword here is quantum encryption - to integrate satellite technology and applications into the new 5G mobile networks and above all to continue technological and political leadership in optical laser communication," says Walther Pelzer. One example is the planned optical communication network Hydron, which is designed to provide fast connections for users with high data transfer requirements, supplementing and complementing the terrestrial fibre optic network.
E3P - the European Exploration Envelope Programme
This is supported by a strong role for SMEs, which Germany is aiming for through its subscription of 25 million euro for European gateway activities. In addition, Germany will play a leading role in the sustainable robotic exploration of the Moon with a contribution of 55 million euro. Germany is also contributing 20 million euro to the Exploration Preparation, Research and Technology (ExPeRT) programme, which will conduct mission studies and technology development for other exploration topics, including a commercial approach. For the consolidation of ExoMars (launch: July 2020) and selected technology elements of the 'Mars Sample Return' mission being planned in cooperation with NASA, Germany is providing ~37 million euro.
ESA and Luxembourg Space Agency confirm partnership on space resources
Paris (ESA) Nov 28, 2019
A Memorandum of Cooperation to further commit to strengthening cooperation in the field of space resources and innovation was signed by Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister Etienne Schneider and ESA Director General ESA Jan Worner. Following the establishment of the SpaceResources.lu initiative in 2016 to promote and develop the research, economic and legal aspects of space resources, ESA and the Luxembourg Space Agency have been working together to explore opportunities for cooperation and have ide ... read more
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