Europe Moves Toward Independent Human Spaceflight Capability

Credit: ESA

European leaders kicked off the process of developing an independent human spaceflight capability at a space summit chaired by French President Emmaneul Macron on Wednesday.

Officials representing the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union (EU) directed ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher to initiate detailed discussions on how to initiate the program.

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European Astronauts’ Manifesto on the Occasion of the European Space Summit 2022

Association of Space Explorers – Europe
16 February 2022

Humans are explorers. Curiosity is in our nature, and the need to expand our reach is intimately connected to our evolution: it has led us to develop technology and capabilities beyond any other species on our planet.

Humanity’s innate desire to explore has a unifying power that is unsurpassed, even in a time of increased polarization and political divide. Space programmes like the International Space Station have provided a unique capability to bridge across ideological and geographical chasms. Throughout recent times challenged by political unrest, economical struggles, and an ongoing pandemic, space programmes have received world-wide support thanks to their peaceful purpose and the universal appreciation of the values they provide: the protection of Earth, the advancement of science and development of technology – simply put, progress. The necessary international cooperation to achieve these global goals is a constant incentive to improved relations, stability, economic growth, innovative approaches and infrastructure enhancements. And yet even more important is the space programmes’ unique ability to inspire: seeing humans working and living in space, achieving things that once were called “impossible”, is one of the most powerful motivators for the younger generations. It shows young Europeans that they can be anything they want, if they just dare to dream ambitiously, to become the scientists, engineers, and explorers of tomorrow.

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