. 24/7 Space News .
To Sicily and beyond: ESA, partners debate future of space transportation
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Jul 12, 2022

Future STS concepts being explored by ESA as part of Vision 2030+.

How can Europe exploit its technical, industrial and financial strengths to ensure it remains a leader in space transportation in the 2030s and beyond? How can ESA, Europe's national space agencies and institutions, and both established and new industrial partners better co-ordinate their efforts to meet global competition that demands innovation and cost-reduction?

These were just a few of the questions discussed during an ESA-hosted roundtable conference held on 27-28 June in Palermo, Sicily. The event, called "Shared Vision for the Future of Space Transportation in Europe", saw more than 100 representatives of Europe's space sector discuss the technical and political challenges shaping the space transportation market.

Giorgio Tumino, ESA's Chief Technical Advisor for Space Transportation, has led a year-long effort to identify features of a future European space transportation infrastructure capable of matching the intense technical and commercial competition coming from the USA, China, Russia and India.

The Palermo roundtable meeting was held to begin fleshing out this "Vision 2030+" of a European space sector organized to meet the technical and market demands of the coming decades. Said Tumino: "The event was extremely fruitful. It underlined the need to consolidate a European vision that brings together all actors."

Several themes shaped the discussion, which reflected the differing needs of established space industry players and their start-up competitors. One theme was the role of ESA; should it lead definition and product development of European institutional launchers, or should it support industry's entrepreneurial efforts to define and develop products.

Participants underlined that ESA should act as an "anchor customer"; that is, to shift its focus towards services. But while some favour such a shift away from buying specific technologies or creating products, others want ESA to continue to play a more product-focused role. That is, to use its technical and financial strength to actively "de-risk" technologies which are expected to become critical enablers of institutional requirements but which cannot enter the market quickly.

Another concern focused on the limited size of the European launch market. Some participants fear too much intra-European competition risks impoverishing the installed infrastructure and expertise which has been built up over by agencies and industry.

Here, one theme arising from the Palermo meeting was that ESA should trigger more commercial investment by initiating "competitive procurements" in new activities.

This theme of balancing co-operation and competition characterised discussion of one possible strategy, which is to identify common technology "building blocks". This proposal would see commonly available technologies shared across many applications to generate the economies of scale which keep costs down in larger institutional markets.

Palermo revealed that prime contractors and legacy companies support this approach, agreeing that sharing technologies would build volume and enhance international competitiveness. Newer companies, however, expressed concern that this approach risked creating monopolies; they prefer to mimic the so-called "spin-in" tactic of borrowing technologies that have been developed by larger industries, such as automotive.

Broadly, participants agreed that building blocks were not needed for lighter sub-systems, where vertical integration fosters competition and stimulates innovation.

The topic of European competence in human space exploration was widely discussed. Here, participants saw a necessity in mastering the technologies that enable the sustainment of human life in very difficult conditions.

Some participants observed that the lead time in developing human spaceflight capabilities means decisions about its pursuit need to be taken now.

The notion that European competence in cargo delivery was a fair trade for astronaut transport was seen as a first but not sufficient step for Europe. And, participants noted, the inspirational impact of the human spaceflight effort would be far greater if the first European astronauts to travel to the Moon were to fly from Europe's Spaceport with a European transportation system.

One point of agreement was that Europe offers very high-quality space transportation services. Europe, it was noted, delivers outstanding launch services from its spaceport in French Guiana, with many international customers coming back repeatedly owing to quality and reliability.

Daniel Neuenschwander, ESA's Director of Space Transportation, called the event in Palermo a key milestone: "We have an ambitious transformation plan and the Spirit of Palermo will support that. Europe is building on a solid foundation, technically and commercially, and Europe is adapting to a fast-changing space market so it's encouraging to see such intense engagement - and readiness to accelerate.

"Working together is the European way and that is our greatest strength."

Related Links
Space Transportation at ESA
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Australia's space future blasts off from Nhulunbuy
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Jul 07, 2022
Australia has taken another step towards becoming a serious contributor to the global space economy with the launch of a NASA sounding rocket from the Arnhem Space Center at Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory. Australia's rapidly growing space enterprise will provide benefits well above our economic and strategic weight. Establishing a sovereign launch capability is a vital early step. The launch site's developer, Equatorial Launch Australia, wants to make Nhulunbuy a premier global launch site. ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Short space trips for paying passengers on the way

NASA Highlights Climate Research on Cargo Launch, Sets Coverage

Terran Orbital completes CAPSTONE's First TCM Burn

Jacobs Awarded $3.9B Engineering and Science Contract at NASA

Rocket Lab's MAX Flight Software surpasses 50th mission milestone

NASA, SpaceX launch climate science research to ISS

Vega-C completes inaugural flight

To Sicily and beyond: ESA, partners debate future of space transportation

Machine learning 'phones home' for famous Martian rock

Source of ancient Martian rocks found using Perth supercomputer

Scientists find oldest Martian meteorite's original home

NASA's Perseverance Scouts Mars Sample Return Campaign Landing Sites

Third Tianlian II-series satellite launched

Shenzhou-14 Taikonauts conduct in-orbit science experiments, prepare for space walks

Wheels on China's Zhurong rover keep stable with novel material

Construction of China's first commercial spacecraft launch site starts in Hainan

Ukrainian Space Startups

Tech firms unveil plan for 'space-based' 5G network

ESA astronaut selection in the final stages

Kleos Space invests for future growth in the UK

Space rocket junk could have deadly consequences unless governments act

Swarm dodges collision during climb to escape Sun's wrath

SIRI-2 to qualify technologies for radiation detection in space

Researchers use quantum-inspired approach to increase lidar resolution

The life puzzle: the location of land on a planet can affect its habitability

To search for alien life, astronomers will look for clues in the atmospheres of distant planets

Undead planets: the unusual conditions of the first exoplanet detection

NASA's Webb reveals steamy atmosphere of distant planet in detail

You can help scientists study the atmosphere on Jupiter

SwRI scientists identify a possible source for Charon's red cap

NASA's Europa Clipper Mission Completes Main Body of the Spacecraft

Gemini North Telescope Helps Explain Why Uranus and Neptune Are Different Colors

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.