Ambitious goals

Europe wants the leading space power of the 21. Century

A few days ago in Paris, a four-month consultation on the future of the European space travel, which is not only considered by the participants, but also by many observers as a milestone and quite serious attempt to assert themselves in the long term against the American competition.

The current advantage of the US is based on the great uniformity of the objectives, but above all on the fact that in America – especially by NASA and Pentagon – six times so much claims in space-relevant research and development than in the old Europe.

There should be some other in the foreseeable future. At the final conference, where EU Research Commissar Philippe Busquin and Director-General Antonio Rodotà participated by the European Space Agency (ESA) were therefore given first steps and long-term plans. First, coordination between all sectors at EU and international level is significantly improved, secured independent European access to space and develop a flexible system for financing the various programs.

But with these general associations, the participants did not satisfy this time. Instead, a number of other details were discussed. It was about creating a council of space ministers, the use of multi-purpose satellite systems, the development of an institutional market for communication and navigation, the establishment of a European security and defense agency, an optimal career planning for all employees, an efficient pan-European data processing system that Use of the International Space Station as a leaning point for heavy-release research, a program for seamless broadband communication, a manned MARS mission within the next 30 years and finally about the doubling of claims for the European research. Almost at the same time, the new European Space Technology Master Plan was presented, which is to promote technological development within European space research and coordinate more effectively.

The conference has undoubtedly ensured that the new ARA, which was involved in the presentation of the Grunbuch on the European Space Policy in January 2003, was not just episodic nature. Nevertheless, it can not be chosen at present, which absticks from the raised goals at the end. The European Parliament will only comment on the Grunbuch until September, whereupon the Commission will then introduce a female book on European space policy in October, together with detailed action planning. One month later, this document could then be reduced by the Council of the European Union as part of a conference of EU ministers stated in the competition.

Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin is, despite the long walks and dark channels, which were allowed to stand in the way of spontaneous decision-making in Europe and again and again, optimistic that the common will of all those involved can put one or the other mountain:

The consultation proved to be a successful example of democratic interaction and community creativity. (…) With a strong political commitment by all volumetric space actors and persistent support by the public, we can be Europe for leading space of space of 21. Century.

With an offensive space program, which will also serve military purposes, the EU also in competition to the USA: the Pentagon aims for absolute military dominance in space. Initial conflicts existed because of the EU-planned navigation satellite system Galileo, through which Europe out of dependence from the GPS. Concretely, the military use of space is said, but the orientation, however, to reduce the dependence of the US through its own systems, was clearly formulated:

The space travel is today a key factor for the implementation of European goals and measures, in particular in connection with sustainable development, environmental protection, transport and mobilitat and the information society. Space applications also provide answers to new questions related to the safety, which, within the framework of the EU (ESDP) Safety Policy and the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), both for the protection of the burger and in the military sector.

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