EU to speed up space am­bi­tions, space chief says

Iran Daily - - Science & Technology -

The Euro­pean Union will plough more money into rocket launches, satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tion and space ex­plo­ration to pre­serve its of­ten un­sung suc­cesses in space and keep up with US and Chi­nese am­bi­tions, its space chief said.

Over the past decades, Europe has sought to build in­de­pen­dent ac­cess to space from US and Rus­sian pi­o­neers to help its in­dus­try, with suc­cesses such as Ar­i­ane rock­ets or Gps-ri­val sat­nav Galileo, Reuters re­ported.

But the re­cent emer­gence of US com­peti­tor Spacex and its re­us­able rock­ets as well as China’s rapid ad­vances, in­clud­ing the first ever land­ing on the far side of the Moon last year, is giv­ing new ur­gency to Europe’s am­bi­tions.

“Space is one of Europe’s strong points, and we’re giv­ing our­selves the means to speed up,” Euro­pean Com­mis­sioner Thierry Bre­ton, whose brief in­clude the space sec­tor, told Reuters in an in­ter­view on Sun­day.

Bre­ton, the for­mer French head of IT com­pany Atos, said that for the first time, the EU bud­get will be used to sup­port new tech­nol­ogy to launch rock­ets, in­clud­ing re­us­able ones.

The EU will for the first time sign a €1-bil­lion agree­ment with Ari­anes­pace with guar­an­teed or­ders to give it more vis­i­bil­ity, in ex­change for more in­no­va­tion.

“Spacex has re­de­fined the stan­dards for launch­ers, so Ar­i­ane 6 is a nec­es­sary step, but not the ul­ti­mate aim: We must start think­ing now about Ar­i­ane 7,” Bre­ton said.

Bre­ton, who hopes the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion will pro­vide €16 bil­lion for space in its next bud­get, said he would pro­pose a €1-bil­lion Euro­pean Space Fund to boost start-ups. He also wants to launch a com­pe­ti­tion to give free ac­cess to satel­lites and launch­ers to star­tups, to spur in­no­va­tion.

For the Galileo sat­nav sys­tem, Bre­ton said he would bring for­ward to the end of 2024 in­stead of 2027 the roll­out of a new gen­er­a­tion of satel­lites, “the most modern in the world”, that can in­ter­act with each other and pro­vide a more pre­cise sig­nal.

He wants to launch a new satel­lite sys­tem that can give high­speed In­ter­net ac­cess to all Euro­peans, and be­gin work on a Space Traf­fic Man­age­ment sys­tem to avoid col­li­sions, made more likely with the rapid in­crease in the num­ber of satel­lites.

ESA

The Ar­i­ane-5 ECA launcher, car­ry­ing Thai and Mex­i­can telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions satel­lites, lifts off from the Euro­pean space­port at Kourou in French Guiana, on May 27, 2006.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Iran

© PressReader. All rights reserved.