Mr. Glos, Mr Dordain, and Mr Kreuzberg at ESA's Ministerial Conference

6 December 2005
ESA PR 57-2005.
 
The Ministers
responsible for space in the European Space Agency’s 17 Member States
and Canada today concluded a two-day meeting of ESA’s ruling Council in
Berlin by deciding on a coherent plan for discovery and competitiveness
for Europe in space.
 
They accordingly
endorsed the continuation of a set of ongoing programmes and agreed to
undertake major new initiatives designed to give Europe a clear vision
and tangible means to further strengthen its space exploration and
exploitation activities. They emphasised the need for Europe to
maintain a competitive space sector able to lead the search for new
discoveries, guarantee access to strategic data and new services, and
consolidate its share of the global commercial market. Huygens helped
increase European citizens?? awareness of space activities
 
The Ministers appreciated the efforts made
to heighten European citizens?? awareness of space activities and their
benefits, thanks in particular to the success of recent European
scientific missions such as Huygens and Mars Express. These missions,
together with a series of successful Ariane 5 launches, have confirmed
once again that combined European skills and efforts enable Europe to
succeed in the most challenging of enterprises and achieve a level of
excellence for discovery and innovation in the global arena.
 
The Ministers also noted the increase in
the volume and quality of the Agency??s relations with its international
partners. They recognised that the global scenario in the space sector
is evolving rapidly, in particular with increasing numbers of players
mastering major space technologies and offering competitive conditions
for civil and dual-use applications.
 
The Ministers reaffirmed the strategic
importance of Europe continuously improving its scientific,
technological and industrial capabilities in the field of space so as
to enable it to better respond to the expectations of its citizens
concerning the environment, quality of life and security. They noted
that European industry has encountered difficulties in recent years,
resulting from a significant downturn on the commercial market as well
as the competition from industries operating on the basis of lower
production costs; they also took note of the measures taken by industry
to improve its position, through difficult reorganisation and
concentration processes which have led to a reduction in the volume and
distribution of European capabilities.
 
A major political step was achieved with
the approval of an overall European launcher policy ensuring coherence
between the launcher and satellite fields.
 
The Ministers recognised that it is
crucial to continuously foster European cooperation on space activity
by further developing an overall European Space Policy encompassing
ESA, the EU, plus national and industrial programmes, and to allocate
the available resources and capabilities to common European
initiatives, so as to achieve the critical mass needed to face the
worldwide competition.
 
Decisions on programmes/activities
 
On the programmatic side, the Ministers
took decisions concerning the Agency??s mandatory activities (scientific
and basic) and optional programmes (Earth observation,
telecommunications, satellite navigation, human spaceflight,
microgravity, exploration, launchers). Those decisions confirm the ESA
countries’ commitment to boost progress in space science and to be at
the leading edge of discovery, thus supporting the development of
competitive services and future applications for European citizens. The
decisions taken concern the following:
 
a) The Agency??s mandatory activities: the Level of Resources for 2006-2010 (scientific programme and basic activities)
ISS from Discovery in July 2005
The International Space Station
 
b) Continuation of ongoing programmes:
* subscriptions for the Earth Observation Envelope Programme
* subscriptions for the International Space Station Exploitation Programme Period 2 and the European ELIPS programme Period 2
* subscriptions for launcher evolutions
*
subscriptions for Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems
(ARTES), focusing on technologies, applications and mission
demonstrations
 
c) New programmes:
*
subscriptions for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security
(GMES) Space Component, also representing a key European contribution
to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) initiative
ExoMars will be Aurora’s first Exploration mission
* subscriptions for the European Space Exploration
programme Aurora, comprising its first Exploration mission ExoMars and
a Core programme to prepare for future exploration missions
* subscriptions for the preparation of future launchers
*
subscriptions for the General Support Technology Programme (GSTP) for
the preparation of new dedicated technology programmes, focusing on the
development of technologies with a view to non-dependence and security,
and aimed at preparing and demonstrating new concepts such as formation
flying satellites in order to carry out missions of strategic and
economic value to space science, Earth observation and new – in
particular security-related – areas.
 
Note for Editors For further background
information on the programmatic aspects, see ESA Information Note
02/2005 at http://www.esa.int/esaCP/Pr_2_2005_i_EN.html
or call:
ESA Communication Department
Media Relations Division
Tel: + 33 (0)1 53 69 71 55
 
(Credits ESA


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