the stunning ambitions of ESA boss Josef Aschbacher for Europe

La conférence ministérielle de l

18.7 billion euros. This is the sum that the Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA) Josef Aschbacher will ask the 22 Member States at the next ministerial conference scheduled for the end of November in Paris. That is a 30% increase in the ESA budget compared to that set at the end of 2019 at the Seville ministerial conference (14.38 billion euros) when Germany had become the first contributor to the European Space Agency (3.29 billion). I fully understand that it is a lot but it is necessary”, assured Joseph Aschbacher at the World Satellite Business Week space conference in Paris. This amount is still under negotiation, he said.

This will be a decisive opportunity for Europe to step up its space activities and live up to its ambition,” he summed up.

“Europe has no choice and must increase its investments in space or stay on the side of the road”estimated the Director General of ESA in June at the Paris Air Forum organized by La Tribuneas the rest of the world is experiencing a meteoric acceleration. “We are very good at what we do but it will not be enough”he pointed out.

The war in Ukraine complicates the ministerial

“The situation is extremely difficult, these are not good conditions to prepare for a ministerial”, however explained the director general of the ESA. He spoke about the consequences of the war in Ukraine, inflation and the threat of an economic recession in Europe. The director of ESA also estimated that thehe war in Ukraine had introduced great complexity into the European space sector, which affected and still affects our industry in unprecedented ways. »

Thus, he regretted that missions scientists and cooperations international, on which Europe has a lot invested for long periodscan be stopped dead like the ExoMars program, which cost more than one billion euros. He also lamented that commercial space infrastructures can be seized indefinitely, likeOneWeb satellites. A very painful experience” for the boss of the space agency.

Three billion for space transport

ESA will propose to member states a budget of 3 billion euros for space transport, announced last week ESA’s director of space transport, Daniel Neuenschwander, who was present in Kourou for the launch of the satellite. Eutelsat Connect VHTS. Access to space is therefore an absolute priority.”reaffirmed Joseph Aschbacher on Monday in Paris, in particular by launching as quickly as possible “ the Ariane 6 launcher. Beyond that, as part of Horizon 2030, ESA is already planning to improve the performance of Ariane 64 to launch a constellation like Kuiper. The head of space transport at ESA wants rapid development of the Prometheus (reusable engine) and Themis (reusable first stage) programs in order to prepare for reuse.”

The Agency also plans investments to increase the pace to five » Vega C per year, even, in certain cases, we have the ambition to carry out six flights of the launcher over a period of twelve months”had explained this summer at La Tribune Daniel Neuenschwander. For this, ESA is going to propose a global package » of 500 million euros, which includes several investments dedicated to Vega C and Vega E: improvement of the performance of the solid rocket booster (P120C+), which is joint with Ariane 6, development of Vega E; exploitation and adaptation (system loop) of Vega C.