Seville/Paris (dpa) – There is a crisis in launch vehicles, and when it comes to space exploration, Europe is at risk of falling behind the ambitious plans of others. What should happen next for the continent of space travel?
The ministers of the European Space Agency (ESA) countries will discuss this matter starting today. Sustainability, transportation and space exploration will be discussed at the two-day space summit in Seville. According to the European Space Agency, there may be major changes to space access and launch vehicles.
Europe is currently not doing well when it comes to its missile launchers. The new Ariane 6 was supposed to be launched in 2020, but its maiden flight is now scheduled to take place next year. The years-long delay for Ariane 6 is all the more painful because its predecessor, Ariane 5, which has been in use since 1996, was last launched in July. Since then, the European Space Agency no longer has its own resources to launch large satellites into space.
Even with light satellites, things are not going well at the moment. The first commercial flight of the Vega C rocket failed last December. Planned further development of the Vega rocket likely won’t be scheduled to take off again until the end of 2024.
Both rockets, Ariane 6 and Vega C, were actually intended to make space travel in Europe more competitive. The European Space Agency is trying to get it started as quickly as possible. Stable access to space is also a topic at the summit.
There may also be movement in space exploration. An ad hoc group set up by the European Space Agency called on the organization to be more independent in the spring. According to ESA President Joseph Aschbacher, they will go to Seville with a good package that can bring decisive changes for Europe in both areas – access to space and space exploration. The aim was previously said to be a response to the increasing commercialization and privatization of space activities.
Pictures of “Euclid”
At the end of the summit, the European Space Agency wants to publish the first images of its new mission in the search for dark matter and dark energy. The Euclid probe launched into space early last July. Among other things, your telescope will help determine the distance between galaxies.
The European Space Agency wants to look into the past of the universe and investigate its evolution over the past 10 billion years. Overall, data will be collected on billions of galaxies to learn more about dark matter and dark energy.
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