Tuesday, June 16, 2009

ESA: Discussion of manned spaceflight

From the Paris Air Show, FlightGlobal's Rob Coppinger blogs in a report that the European Space Agency (ESA) is still flying high on the success of it's very successful ATV automated resupply mission to the International Space Station in 2008. Even before Jules Verne succeeded in accomplishing it mission last year, even assisting ISS in boosting to a high altitude after Zvezde module on-board thrusters failed to assist the station in avoiding space debris, last year, ESA was showing off a manned version of the ATV.

"Despite a collective population as great as the USA and Russia and a combined gross domestic product comparable to that of the North American superpower, Europe's space activities have for the most part been smaller in scale, focused on science and not supported by an indigenously developed human transport system."

"The European Union has followed this approach with its support for International Space Station based research, but the EU may be preparing to expand into human exploration. A "high-level meeting on space exploration" organised by the European Commission will take place this September or October, and the EC says it will be the start of a "process to obtain a common European political vision about the role of Europe in space exploration."

Read the Report HERE.