European 2022 Space Summit wraps up, astronaut manifesto released

Left to right - EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton, Bruno Le Maire, French Minister for the Economy, Finance and the Recovery, and ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher. Credit: ESA.

At this years European Space Summit leaders outlined a strong agenda aimed at tackling challenges on Earth and in and low Earth orbit (LEO).

This years space summit was hosted in Toulouse, France and after the European Space Agency (ESA) received a 10% budget increase for 2022 and the French space agency CNES received a 9.9% budget increase.

In conjunction with the closing space summit press conference, a joint press release focused on “three ‘accelerators'” that “will drive Europe’s increased use of space.” As hosts, France also issued a release.

Those three accelerators are:

  • Space for a green future – Aims to use data derived from Earth observation satellites to help Europe act to mitigate climate change and to support reaching a carbon-neutral economy by mid-century.
  • A rapid and resilient crisis response – Seeks to better use space data, cognitive cloud computing and intelligent interconnectivity in space to support those in charge to provide the vital responses to crisis on Earth.
  • The protection of space assets – Will contribute to prevent damage to the European space infrastructure and avoid disruption to its economically vital infrastructures such as power supplies and communications links due to space weather conditions.

Along with the three accelerators, there were two inspirator’s within the accelerators that received attention.

The first is the human exploration inspirator “which is an essential sovereign capability among all the major space powers except Europe.” The thought here is that Europe consider having its own human launch capability. A new “high-level advisory group will be established” that will report its progress at the next ESA Council of Ministers which will be held in November 2022.

European Space Agency (ESA) Director Josef Aschbacher said “I am very happy to accept President Macron’s proposal to establish a high-level advisory group on ‘human space exploration for Europe’. This decision will shape what Europe will look like in the decade to come. We have to involve experts from all walks of life and mainly from non-space, for example historians, economists, geo-political experts, explorers on Earth, and philosophers to fully grasp all its implications and help us take the right decision.”

The other inspirator was the idea of a sample return mission to search for signs of life on one of the moons of Jupiter or Saturn.

Another event during the summit was the release of a European Astronauts’ Manifesto presented by space veteran Luca Parmitano. You can read the short manifesto below.

It was also decided to hold another summit in 2023.

Space Summit Press Conference

Josef Aschbacher’s speech at the ESA Council meeting

ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher speaks at the start of the ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level, part of the Space Summit in Toulouse, on 16 February 2022. Credit: ESA.

Luca Parmitano presents the European Astronauts’ Manifesto

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano presents the European Astronauts’ Manifesto during the Space Summit in Toulouse, on 16 February 2022. Credit: ESA.

European Astronauts’ Manifesto

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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