The European space sector is committed: the Earth is ours, we must cherish it

The European space sector is committed: the Earth is ours, we must cherish it

Space security

21/11/2022
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ESA and 22 other European space players have come together to sign a “Declaration for a responsible space sector”. Space exploration has allowed us to look back on our planet in ways no human could before, revealing a fragile world with limited resources. As today’s statement explains, the responsibility to care for our planet extends to and depends on our actions in space.

ESA is honored to collaborate with space stakeholders in signing this Declaration for a Responsible Space Sector, which clearly states:

“Our goal is to lay the foundations for the long-term and sustainable economic development of the space sector and to increase the contribution of space activities to the sustainable development of society.”

Why now?

Space for European society and economy

Taking advantage of the ESA Council at Ministerial level in Paris, “CM22”, in the context of climate change on Earth and the increase of space debris in orbit, ESA and European space sector stakeholders expressed their commitment to meet the growing expectations of States and citizens to meet the global challenges facing humanity.

For decades, space has been part of our essential infrastructure and more and more of the daily activities of nations and individuals depend on orbiting satellites. Our understanding of human health has been deepened by research from the Space Station, new economic markets have opened up, jobs have been created, and we continue to be inspired by the new perspective that space science opens on the universe and our place in it.

CryoSat

“In recent years, the benefits of space exploration have become overwhelmingly clear as never before,” said ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher.

“Our Earth observation satellites continue to reveal the disturbing nature of our changing climate, through detailed images of natural disasters and extreme weather events that are damaging societies and taking lives.”

“Space activity is fundamental to taking care of our people and our planet, and in return, we must be responsible for our behavior in space. ESA aims for zero debris by 2030”.

Today, European space actors are committed to the long-term sustainability of space projects and are paving the way for socially and environmentally responsible management of all space sector activities, with the aim of combating climate change and preserve life and resources for future generations.

As the statement describes, “There is only one planet we can call home, and we must care for it.”

Europe’s vision for the space sector

“… we intend to increase the contribution of projects carried out by the space sector to the sustainable development of society and to work for the socially and ecologically responsible management of all space sector activities, while promoting progress towards the principles and values ​​set out above. after. Furthermore, we intend to foster cooperation between European space actors, making the best use of available resources and expertise and avoiding duplication of efforts.

Five Principles for Space Activity

Declaration for a Responsible Space Sector

Our actions are guided by our principles. In the Declaration for a responsible space sector, ESA and the co-signatories defined five principles to support space activity which answer the question: who and what is space for?

– For fair and responsible governance

– For the benefit of the whole society

– For equitable access to outer space, its preservation and peaceful exploration

– For the preservation of our natural environment on Earth and the repair of the damage caused to our planet

– And for a just society and better well-being for all

Supported by European values

Europe, and ESA, is defined by cooperation between a multitude of countries, communities, cultures, languages ​​and peoples. Our activity in space must reflect the values ​​of these people and these partnerships. Today’s declaration sets out the commitment of its signatories to the following values:

– Integrity

– Identity and inclusiveness

– Creativity and curiosity

-Excellency

Real steps towards a responsible space sector

To achieve this vision, in accordance with the principles and values ​​set out, ESA intends with its co-signatories to continue and strengthen their coordinated efforts in these areas of common interest: preserving life, resources, people and society.

Josef Aschbacher, DG of ESA, on Zero Debris

With this in mind, working groups on the themes “Decarbonisation of the space sector”, “Responsible purchasing” and “LCA (life cycle assessment) and green technologies for space systems” have been set up and are producing valuable results. . Other key issues remain to be addressed, on which the Declaration offers a unique framework for action.

ClearSpace-1, will assemble, capture and disassemble for re-entry the upper part of a Vespa (Vega secondary payload adapter) from the European Vega launcher

The critical issues of climate change, accountability and protecting our planet underpin not only this gathering and agreement, but also ESA’s own goals and ambitions presented at this year’s ESA Council. at ministerial level in Paris.

From the very first mission to remove debris from orbit, Clearspace-1, to ESA’s “in-orbit servicing” and upcoming “zero debris approach”, ESA plays a leading role in cleaning our orbits and protecting our only view on Earth.

Learn more about ESA’s vision.

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