EUSPA to Further Boost Space Investments with CASSINI Entrepreneurship Fund

PRAGUE (EUSPA PR) — The European Commission, the EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the European Investment Fund (EIF) committed to multiplying the benefits of space technology to businesses. This initiative implies attracting more private investment funds, running capacity building activities, sharing expertise, organizing matchmaking, and promoting the markets. CASSINI is central to this endeavour.

DG DEFIS Director-General Timo Pesonen, EUSPA Executive Director, Rodrigo da Costa, ESA Director-General Josef Aschbacher, Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund Alain Godard gathered at the Egmont Palace in Brussels on the occasion of the 14th edition of the European Space Conference 2022. During this event, they agreed on the principles of cooperation to support SMEs in the space sector, fostering on exchange of information and engaging in joint cross-functional actions towards space entrepreneurship. 

Dedicated to promoting the commercialization of Galileo, EGNOS, and Copernicus data and services to increase the market share of the EU space actors, EUSPA has been engaging with companies of all sizes from a broad spectrum of industries, many of which had not used space services in their activities before.

Through capacity-building, and supporting their access to financial resources, mentoring and market know-how, EUSPA helps to create breakthroughs for space entrepreneurship. 

The ‘’New Space’’ paradigm is however reshaping the industry’s landscape resulting in a greater need for better access to risk capital and other forms of growth financing. Anticipating this need, EUSPA is ready to take EU space entrepreneurship to the next level by leveraging investments, its know-how and capacity building within CASSINI Space Entrepreneurship Growth Funding Initiative, together with European Investment Fund, the European Commission, and the European Space Agency.   

These organisations are committed to bringing together their expertise and experience to leverage new investment support for the European space-based economy. The common objective is to create high-skilled jobs in the EU and improve the day-to-day lives of Europeans by supporting innovative companies and accelerating the development of new applications that use European global navigation satellite systems and earth observation services.

‘’EUSPA has a long history of cooperation with the European Investment Bank group and other private and public investors. I am pleased to see that today we reinforce our collaboration to support developing innovative, creative, and successful companies using EU space technologies,’’ said EUSPA Executive Director, Rodrigo da Costa. ‘’It is another step to contribute to the growth of the EU Space industry and its market share to boost our common economy in this very competitive global environment,’’ he concluded.

For more information, visit http://www.euspa.europa.eu.

EU Space: $1 Billion CASSINI Investment Fund Launched to Spur European Competitiveness

BRUSSELS (European Commission PR) — On the 25th of January 2022 in Brussels, and in the context of the CASSINI Initiative, European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton signed a joint statement, together with Vice-President of the European Investment Bank Kris Peeters and Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund Alain Godard, officialising their joint commitment for the “Cassini Seed and Growth Funding Facility.

The objective of this €1 billion space investment fund is to attract more venture capital funds to become active investors in European small and medium size companies developing space technology and digital services using space data.

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European Space Summit Seeks to Boost Competitiveness, Protect Environment & Launch Independent Human Spaceflight Program

Credit: ESA

PARIS (ESA PR) — European leaders will reaffirm plans to launch Europe on a world-leading trajectory during a high-level space summit to be held on 16 February in Toulouse, France.

Urgent action is needed to tackle the unprecedented societal, economic and security challenges faced by Europe – from the climate crisis and its consequences to threats to crucial infrastructure in space and on Earth.

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Webb Liftoff on Ariane 5 to Unlock Secrets of the Universe

The James Webb Space Telescope lifted off on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, at 13:20 CET on 25 December on its exciting mission to unlock the secrets of the Universe. (Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (ESA PR) — The James Webb Space Telescope lifted off on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, at 13:20 CET on 25 December on its exciting mission to unlock the secrets of the Universe.

Following launch and separation from the rocket, Webb’s mission operations centre in Baltimore, USA confirmed Webb deployed its solar array and is in good condition, marking the launch a success.

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Investing Recovery and Resilience Funds in Italian Space Projects

PARIS (ESA PR) — Green and digital transition in Europe will benefit from ESA expertise that supports national plans for investing recovery and resilience funds in space projects.

At the 303rd ESA Council meeting in Paris on 15 December 2021, ESA Member States took the decision to further the role of ESA as provider of expertise in support of national space plans, in particular in order to accompany the investment of Italian recovery and resilience funds in space programmes.

The corresponding arrangement for ESA’s assistance to the Italian National Project concerning Earth observation and space transportation and associated protocol were signed on the margin of the first Giornata Nazionale dello Spazio (Italian National Space Day), held at the Italian Space Agency (ASI) headquarters in Rome on 16 December 2021, by the Italian Minister for Digital Transition and Technological Innovation and delegated authority for space, Vittorio Colao, and ESA Director General, Josef Aschbacher, in the presence of the ASI President, Giorgio Saccoccia.

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ispace Europe, ArianeGroup and ESA to Assess Commercial Partnership for Lunar Transportation Services

LUXEMBOURG, December 10 (ispace PR) – ispace Europe (ispace EU), the European subsidiary of ispace, inc., and ArianeGroup have been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to participate in a pilot phase aiming to establish commercial partnerships in Europe for lunar transportation and exploration. ESA Director General, Josef Aschbacher, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Wednesday, November 24, with ispace EU and ArianeGroup. This marks the official start of the pilot phase.

During this phase, the ispace EU-ArianeGroup partnership will undertake business, technical and socio-economic evaluations of their lunar transportation service, which will ultimately be presented to an ESA evaluation panel; the companies are seeking a decision from ESA by Summer 2022. If endorsed by the Panel and further confirmed by ESA Member States, ispace EU and ArianeGroup could become a vetted candidate to transport ESA payloads to the Moon.

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ESA Helps Greece to Boost its Space Investments

PARIS (ESA PR) — Ambitious plans to expand the nascent space industry in Greece – enabling the digital transformation of society while creating jobs and generating prosperity – have received a fillip from ESA.

On 26 November, the Ministry of Digital Governance in Greece announced the implementation path to materialise its Greek National Satellite Space Project, with the technical support of ESA.

The project is part of the nation’s Recovery and Resilience Facility plans, which aim to enhance Greece’s capabilities in satellite technologies and applications, and to empower the country to exchange satellite data.

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ESA Ministers Agree to Accelerate Use of Space in Europe

MATOSINHOS, Portugal (ESA PR) — Government ministers in charge of space activities in ESA’s Member States today met at an Intermediate Ministerial Meeting held in Matosinhos, Portugal.

The Council of Ministers unanimously adopted a Resolution to accelerate the use of space in Europe (the “Matosinhos manifesto”) to tackle the urgent and unprecedented societal, economic and security challenges faced by Europe and its citizens.

The Resolution defined three “accelerators” to bring Europe’s space ambitions to the next level, mandating the ESA Director General to develop their governance and funding concepts, in concert with the Member States.

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Cosmic Kiss Mission Begins as Matthias Maurer Arrives at the Space Station

ESA astronaut of German nationality Matthias Maurer. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — The four Crew-3 astronauts were launched in a new SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, called Endurance, atop a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA at 02:03 GMT/03:03 CET Thursday 11 November. They arrived at the Station around 22 hours later for a six-month stay in orbit. 

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Crew-3 Arrives at International Space Station

The Expedition 66 crew poses for a photo after SpaceX Crew-3’s arrival to station. (Credit: NASA TV)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Running more than 30 minutes ahead of schedule, the SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts docked to the International Space Station at 6:32 p.m. EST Thursday, Nov. 11, less than 24 hours after launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer opened the hatch of their Crew Dragon spacecraft Endurance at 8:25 p.m. and participated in a welcome ceremony with their new Expedition 66 crewmates at 9 p.m.

On board to welcome them were fellow astronaut Mark Vande Hei, Expedition 66 Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos. Joining the welcome ceremony from Earth were Kathy Lueders, NASA associate administrator for Space Operations, NASA and Josef Aschbacher, ESA director-general.

The newest crew to the microgravity laboratory is the agency’s third crew rotation mission with SpaceX and will remain on board until April 2022 as a part of Expedition 66.

More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog@commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

New ESA Advisory Report Recommends Urgent Steps to Accelerate Europe’s Use of Space

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

With warnings about an imminent climate crisis and decreasing competitiveness, an independent advisory group has recommended the European Space Agency (ESA) urgently transform the way it uses space by establishing accelerators in three key areas leveraging commercialization, user-driven approaches and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

“While space has the potential to enable effective and resilient solutions to tackle major societal challenges, it remains underutilised,” the advisory panel wrote. “The ESA Director General should investigate options for increasing the societal and economic impact of space, prioritising user-driven solutions and leveraging commercialisation, through a new concept of action, Accelerators, building on ESA’s programmatic capacities and acquired excellence.”

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NASA Sets Coverage for SpaceX Crew-3 Briefings, Events, Broadcasts

SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts (from left) Matthias Maurer, Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron pose for a portrait during preflight training at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission with astronauts to the International Space Station. This is the third crew rotation mission with astronauts on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and the fourth flight with astronauts, including the Demo-2 test flight, as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

The launch is targeted for 2:21 a.m. EDT Sunday, Oct. 31, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon Endurance is scheduled to dock to the space station at 12:10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 1. Prelaunch activities, launch, and docking will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

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ESA, European Defence Agency Team Up to Improve Space Cyber Security

PARIS (ESA PR) — The European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Defence Agency (EDA) today agreed to further deepen their already close cooperation around cyber-resilience, aiming to strengthen Europe’s capacity to protect systems and networks critical for space.

Why it matters: Cyber-attacks can target individuals, companies and public institutions and civil services such as energy grids, water treatment and distribution, financial markets, autonomous vehicles and supply chains for food and medical goods like vaccines. And these all increasingly reply on satellites and space-based services.

ESA is committed to protecting its space assets and those of its partners and Member States. To that end, cyber-resilience is an on-going project, and includes activities such as ESA’s Cyber Centre of Excellence and Cyber Security Operations Centre. 

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Spotlight on Climate and the New Space Economy

Kicking off with a bold flourish, Φ-week 2021 promises to bring space even closer to the forefront of addressing society’s biggest challenges, namely issues associated with the climate crisis, while boosting the economy through transformative New Space, artificial intelligence, and quantum and cognitive computing. (Credit: V. Stefanelli)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Kicking off with a bold flourish, Φ-week 2021 promises to bring space even closer to the forefront of addressing society’s biggest challenges, namely issues associated with the climate crisis, while boosting the economy through transformative New Space, artificial intelligence, and quantum and cognitive computing.

ESA’s Φ-week is now in its fourth edition, and each year this forward-looking event is increasingly relevant to society, business and the economy.

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ESA Scales Up Planetary Defense Facilities

Europe’s Planetary Defenders settle into their new home. (Credit: ESA)

FRASCATI, Italy (ESA PR) — The new heart of ESA’s Planetary Defence Office was inaugurated today, heralding a new chapter in the Agency’s work to protect Earth from dangerous near-Earth objects, aka asteroids.

For years, ESA has been dedicated to opening our eyes to hazards in space, and when it came to asteroids this meant ensuring Europe had the capability to detect, track and understand what’s out there.

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