ESA: What next for Europe in space? Space summit seeks answers

There is a crisis with launch vehicles, and when it comes to space exploration, Europe is in danger of falling behind the ambitious plans of others.

ESA: What next for Europe in space? Space summit seeks answers

There is a crisis with launch vehicles, and when it comes to space exploration, Europe is in danger of falling behind the ambitious plans of others. What should happen next for the continent in space travel?

Ministers from the countries belonging to the European space agency Esa will be discussing this from today. Sustainability, transport and space exploration will be discussed at the two-day space summit in Seville. According to the ESA, there could be significant changes in access to space and launch vehicles.

The problems

Europe is currently doing anything but well when it comes to its own launchers. The new Ariane 6 should have been launched in 2020, but its first flight is now scheduled for next year. The years-long delay for Ariane 6 is painful because its predecessor, Ariane 5, which has been in use since 1996, last launched in July. Since then, ESA has no longer had its own resources to launch large satellites into space.

Even with the light satellites things aren't going well at the moment. The first commercial flight of the Vega C rocket failed last December. The planned further development of the Vega rocket is probably not scheduled to take off again until the end of 2024.

Both rockets, the Ariane 6 and the Vega C, were actually intended to make Europe's space travel more competitive. Esa is trying to get it started as quickly as possible. Stabilized access to space is also a topic at the summit.

There could also be movement in space exploration. A specialist group initiated by Esa called on the institution to be more autonomous in the spring. According to ESA boss Josef Aschbacher, they are going to Seville with a good package that could bring decisive changes for Europe in both fields - access to space and space exploration. It was previously said that the aim was to respond to the increasing commercialization and privatization of space activities.

Pictures of "Euclid"

At the end of the summit, Esa wants to publish the first images of its new mission to research dark matter and dark energy. The “Euclid” probe was launched into space at the beginning of July. Among other things, your telescope will help determine the distance of galaxies.

Esa wants to take a look into the past of the universe and research its development over the last ten billion years. Overall, data on billions of galaxies will be collected in order to learn more about dark matter and dark energy.

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