Tuesday , October 19 2021

"Space is above earthly crises" ~ EFE future


The general director of the European Space Agency (ESA), Jan Wörner. EFE / Javier Albisu.

The general director of the European Space Agency (ESA), Jan Wörner. EFE / Javier Albisu.

"The good thing is that space is above all the land borders. The satellites are above, but also our discussions are above, "summarizes Wörner in an interview with Efe during the eleventh European Space Conference, held this week in Brussels.

The ESA is an international agency with 22 European States as members, two of which do not belong to the European Union (Switzerland and Norway), which usually collaborates in sophisticated galactic missions with other powers such as United States, Russia or Japan.

"This summer, from Kazakhstan, we will jointly launch a ship with an American astronaut, a Russian cosmonaut and a third European of Italian nationality. You can see that space is above ground crisis, "comments the German engineer.

Wörner refers to the journey they will undertake next July from Baikonur base Italian Luca Parmitano, American Andrew R. Morgan and Russian Aleksandr Skvortsov on board "a small capsule of a Russian rocket Soyuz" in the direction of the International Space Station (EEI).

"Cooperation with US NASA, with the Russian agency Roscosmos and Japan works very well. ESA cooperates internationally, "said the head of the agency based in Paris.

Wörner avoids further deepening the suspicions shared by other competent European spatial sources, who point to the United States of Donald Trump for abusing his "dominant" position on aerospace against the "multilateralism" defended by Europe.

The CEO of ESA prefers to focus, on the other hand, on the many joint missions that large space powers develop and will continue to develop jointly.

The end of the International Space Station

For example, the projects that will happen to the International Space Station, a portento of engineering built by modules that orbits from 1998 about 400 kilometers from Earth and which is expected to exhaust its life in the incoming decade.

"We will use it as much time as possible because it is a very special laboratory under conditions of microgravity and can not be replaced by any other near mission in time. Maybe it's in the future, but not now, "says Wörner.

In parallel, the German continues, technically ambitious projects are analyzed to extend scientific cooperation beyond the atmosphere.

"We are analyzing explorations not only in low orbits but also in the Moon or Mars. The Moon is a destiny for us for humans and, with our American NASA friends, we are now developing and producing a launch system, "he said.

RED MOUSE FILESArchive photograph of a red or 'blood' moon. EFE / EUGENE GARCIA

To the Moon, and beyond

The ESA is already producing the European Service Module, which will be part of NASA's Orion launcher, with him "you can go to the Moon and even beyond."

"Americans are preparing the so-called Puerta a la Luna, a kind of bus stop to go to the Moon. From Europe, we are going to propose that our member states be part of it, "adds Wörner with a view to the ministerial meeting that ESA will hold in Seville (Spain) on November 27 and 28, in which the projects and commitments will be decided financial for the next three years.

"We call it Space19 +. We expect not only money, but also strategic decisions for the future "outings of a meeting that" covers everything "the spectrum of activities of the agency:" Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications, planet missions and the universe, new technologies, launches and also operations, "he adds.

The Spanish Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities will host the ex-president Pedro Duque, who has advanced that he wants to "moderately" raise the budget of 202 million euros that in 2018 Spain dedicates to ESA.

"For me, once you are an astronaut, you are for a lifetime. So Pedro Duque for us remains an astronaut, "comments the CEO of ESA, who hopes that, in the face of that strategic Seville appointment for the aerospace sector, the Spanish minister" is looking at what space can do for Europe and what Spain can do for space ". EFE

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