DeeDee Doke/London

The European Commission (EC) has detailed its strategy to provide "strong political support" for public and private space activities. The European Strategy for Space, being drawn up by the EC in conjunction with the European Space Agency (ESA), has three objectives:

Guaranteeing independent and affordable access to space and ensuring a broad technology base, with the industrial capability for the design, manufacture, and operation of satellite systems and ground infrastructure. Enhancing scientific understanding of Earth, its atmosphere, the solar system and the Universe. Exploiting the technical capabilities of the space sector by involving end-users from planning through to operational deployment, and encouraging a dialogue between all parties in both public and private sectors and at national and pan-European level.

In Europe and Space: Turning to a new chapter, published on 27 September, Brussels acknowledges the growing importance of space activities to various sectors, including the "knowledge economy" and defence. The EC says its role is to establish "the right political and regulatory conditions" for space activities, to serve as a catalyst for joint research and development, and to bring together players and capabilities around projects of Europe-wide interest - such as Galileo and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security.

ESA will remain the principal programming and funding agency for joint R&D. A new joint task force will be charged with proposing plans to develop and implement projects as part of the European Strategy for Space.

Source: Flight International