< /p> © CNSA
The conquest of space has become a veritable wild west: players (private or public) are multiplying, the launch of modules is increasingly more accessible, regulations have become more complex and space is used for a greater number of activities. The rules have changed, and Europe must adapt to stay in the race. It is with this aim that this summit in Seville is taking place: the EU must redefine its space strategy so as not to be left behind.
Europe in a space impasse?
The year 2023 was not a good vintage for the European presence in the space domain. Ariane 5 is at the end of its career, the absence of alternatives to Soyuz launchers (due to the boycott), resulting delay in the arrival of Ariane 6. We cannot say that the indicators are green.
On the other hand, the company SpaceX can pride itself on having succeeded 63 launches this year, compared to three for Europe in 2023. A very sad observation, ironically aggravated when we know that it was SpaceX's Falcon 9 launchers which were chosen to put into orbit the future European Galileo satellites. A project supposed to compete with the American GPS radio navigation system, restore our sovereignty and symbolize European autonomy.
This meeting organized in Seville therefore takes place in a context where Europe is in a situation of growing dependence in the space sector. Important decisions will have to be made to determine whether the Old Continent can ensure an independent presence beyond our atmosphere.
The keys to renewal: financing and reorganization
These two themes will be at the heart of the discussions, and they will certainly be thorny. In March this year, an independent advisory group presented a report to the European Space Agency calledRevolution Space. The conclusions were clear: if Europe wants to revive the space sector, it will have to increase its investments.
Problem: Member States of the #8217;EU do not have the same opinion regarding the strategy to adopt. For Germany, Europe must model itself on the American modeland capitalize on innovation thanks to private actors. France and Italy are more cautious about adopting such a model.
However, the emergence of new European players like The Exploration Company, a start-up -up Franco-German, suggests that a new impetus in the direction of the private is completely possible.
Seville will be a decisive turning point for the future of space of Europe. The continent's players will have to adjust their choices, which will determine whether the EU still has its place in the conquest of space. As a leader, or as a follower, all the difference is there.
- The Seville summit takes place on Monday, November 6, and brings together the 22 countries of the ;ESA.
- This meeting will determine how to position Europe in the current space economic context.
- Europe, in relation to other actors, is in a rather dark period of its space history.