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Home arrow newsitems arrow Space Exploration re-Starts on 2019 in the World. But what about EU's Autonomy ?

Space Exploration re-Starts on 2019 in the World. But what about EU's Autonomy ?

Written by ACM
Thursday, 03 January 2019
space_planets_earthmoon_mars__galaxy_eurofora_patchwork_400

*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- On Space, the Biggest Generator of various High-Tech. Innovations, Christmas 2018 and the Beginning of the New Year 2019 were Both Marked by some highly Symbolic Rendez-Vous, bearing Catchy Names as "Mars InSight" and "New Horizons", etc, and Signaling the Fact that Space Exploration Projects are Back, (after a Long Eclipse, during former US President Barack Hussein Obama : See ..., etc), including for Human Space Flight.


    Americans, Russians, Chinese, and even, soon India, are Now Present in this relaunched Race, which includes also the rest of the Europeans, mainly through various Cooperations and "Autonomous" Projects. But the key Question of EU's "Autonomy" in Space Access, still Remains Open (See Infra)...


    - Thus, f.ex., Launched on May 2018, (i.e. when New USA President Don Trump had just presented his Vision for a "Moon to Mars" Strategy including Human SpaceFlight, 50 Years after the Historic "Apollo" landing of Austronauts on the Moon), NASA's "Mars InSight" landed at the Red Planet on November 2018, at ..."Elysium planitia", (i.e. while Trump was Visiting the French "Elysée" Presidential Palace in Paris), and brought a pioneer French Tool for Seismic Research, whose Mission extends up to November 2020, (i.e., by another yet Coincidence, until the Next USA Presidential Election !) Already, around Christmas 2018, "Mars InSight" gave its First Photographs from the spot, as a Welcome Christmas Gift...


    + And on this 1st January of the New Year 2019, NASA's "New Horizons" Spacecraft, initially Launched already as Early as since ...January 2006, (i.e. soon after former US President GWBush's - a Supporter of Space Exploration - unexpectedly Brillant Re-Election on November 2004, immediately Followed by an Iimportant Trip in Europe, including at nearby Germany, f.ex. at Gutemberg's City Mainz, where "Eurofora"s co-Founder met him : Comp. our Publication, then, at "TCWeekly", etc), Now Reached "the Most Distant Object" ever Directly Explored by Man : But, even if it's Named ..."Ultima Thule", in fact, this Asteroid is the First among Thousands of various objects that "New Horizons" is due to Explore accross the "Kuiper Belt", at the outer area of our Solar System, reportedly up to 2020, (i.e., once again, by a Coincidence, until the Year of the Next US Presidential Elections : Comp. Supra)...  


    Meanwhile, China has just managed to Land at the Moon's Dark Side, for the 1st Time, with a workable Rover, and is also Planning a kind of New "International Space Station" asap...


    Russia, (the Historic Space Pioneer, since the "Sputnik 1" Times, Gagarin, etc), in addition to a very Busy Rocket Launching activity accross the Globe, (from Siberia until French Guyane's Kuru ESA Base), considers its on-going Partnership with the EU on the 2016-2022 "Exo-Mars" Project (See Infra), as one of the Most Important Scientific Cooperation affairs, according also to the President of its Academy of Sciences, Alexander Sergeyev. In Parallel, Moscow is also planning to cooperate with Washington DC's New Space Exploration Strategy (See Infra), particularly on the segments of Moon Orbital Station and Moon Landings, where Russians still keep a strong Pioneer Experience, since a long time ago.


    USA, indeed, has just announced, since Spring 2018, New US President Don Trump's ambitious Vision for Space Exploration starting "from Moon to Mars", and well Beyond, including with Human Space Fight, due to Begin with a original "Space Gateway" orbiting around the Moon, where several Landings and even Bases are scheduled, preparing more Steps towards Mars and, progressively, even Further.


    Meanwhile, even India, after having just Launched more than 30 Satellites in One Operation, has just Anounced that it Intends to engage in Human Space Flight at the Horizon of 2022.


    As for EU Countries, EU Parliament has just debated and Voted, during its latest Pleary Session of December 2018 in Strasbourg, a Multi-Billion (about 16 Billions €) Programme for "Autonomous" Space activities during the Next Multi-Annual Financial Perspectives' period of 2021-2027, including mainly the Strengthening of "GALILEO" and the Development of "Copernicus", "SSA" and "GovSatCom" Projects, for Satellite Navigation Systems, Earth Observation, but also Security and Communication, etc., according to a Report drafted by mainstream Italian ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Massimiliano Salini, (from the Same Party as EU Parliament's President Antonio Tajani, an Experienced former EU Commissioner in charge also of Space : Comp. Tajani's relevant Replies to "Eurofora" Questions on his Space Vision, f.ex. at ..., etc).

Shortly afterwards, EU Council also adopted an Agreement on EU's Space Program, on 20 December 2018 in Brussels, around Similar Key Projects, (Comp. Supra).


    + In Parallel, ESA is still Preparing the 2nd and most Important Phase of its "Exo-Mars" Project, (in Cooperation with Russia : Comp. Supra), which will Focus on a European Rover due to work on Mars between 2020-2022, as part of a Wider Pioneer Research particularly seeking for traces of Life in the Red Planet's Historic Past, through an Exploration of its UnderGround sediments.


    ++ Naturally European Countries are also due to Cooperate with USA's "Moon to Mars" Strategic Plan (Comp. Supra), as well as with China's starting activities at the Dark Side of the Moon, (particularly Germany, etc), especially concerning various Experiments.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
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    However, Despite several MEPs' eagerness to Multiply succesfull Amendments calling for EU's "Autonomy" in EU Parliament's Reports on Space, (Comp. f.ex. Supra, etc), nevertheless, curiously almost Nothing has been Recently heard about the Natural Dream to Build a full and sustainable European Capability for Autonomous Access to Space :


     Certainly, "Ariane-5"'s Rockets are still working, from times to times, But a Strange Silence seems still kept on the Key Issue of ReUsable Spacecrafts' Technology, (as the former USA's "Shuttle", and/or its planned "Orion" Future Spacecraft, etc)...


    F.ex., it's not even mentioned in EU Parliament's latest Report on the Pluri-Annual, 2021-2027 Financial Perspectives concerning Space Projects, neither in EU Council's subsequent Agreement on EU's Future Space Program, (which, However, points at EU's "Strategic Autonomy", Comp. Supra).


    And Russia's earlier Attempt to develop a Plan, Together with EU Countries, for the Creation of such a Re-Usable Spacecraft, (then nick-Named "Clipper"), was finally Droped, despite the Efforts even of a former ESA's Head, to Negotiate such a Strategic Cooperation !


    As for USA, at least until now, it's notoriously accustomed Only to Rent some Room, (f.ex. inside the ISS, in the former Shuttles, some Rockets, Satellites, etc), for several Experiments made by Other Countries, but Not to Negotiate on providing any "Autonomous Access to Space" also by Others...


    Even ESA's "Exo-Mars" Rover project (Comp. Supra), which had been Initially prepared in Cooperation with the USA, had Suffered a serious Backlash, when, suddenly, the USA started to Drop it, (during Obama's period), Obliging the European Countries to seek, Later-on, Help from Russia, (Comp. Supra).


    In Addition, EU Countries afterwards felt to Lack sufficient Money to pay for that "Exo-Mars" project's 2nd Phase, Earlier Scheduled to Start from 2016, and were Obliged to Postpone it for the Future Period of 2020-2022 !

   Meanwhile, Russia too had been hardly hit by "Sanctions" on Pretext of the Ukranian Conflict, provoked since 2014, (by some strange, Deadly Snipers, killing Both Policemen and Demonstrators, who had pushed to Violent Conflict, Droping a Peace Agreement signed between former President Yanukovich and all Maidan Opposition Leaders, under the Auspices of France, Germany and Poland's Foreign Ministers), and herself Obliged to drastically Cut its own Space Budget.

     But EU Countries had probably faced Money-Problems from 2015-2016, since they were Suddenly Obliged to Pay Also +3 Billions € in full Grants each Year to ...Turkey, after Ankara threw into Europe more than 1,5 Millions of Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants, and Asked for Money and Other Advantages from the EU in order to Stop that. (Something that, in Fact, EU did Not Need, since Hungary and other Central-Eastern European Countries had already managed to Close the "Western Balkans' Route" to those Masses arriving through Turkey, who had, consequently, Ceased to do so, already Before that Controversial EU - Ankara Deal, as Official Data from International Organisations, such as UNHCR and IOM, etc, clearly prove : See ..., etc).


    However, it's mainly (at that Same Period) during former US President Barack Hussein Obama's era (2009-2016) that Human Space Flight, and even Space Exploration in general, were notoriously "Sacrificed" and practically Skiped, for Many Years, since he Decided to drastically Cut NASA's relevant Budget from 2010, (See : ...), prefering, instead, to Focus, curiously, on the International Space Station, (ISS : Closer to Earth than the small Distance "between Moscow and Saint Petersbourg", as Russian Critics use to say)...


    - MIT Professor, former Austronaut, and then in charge of Scientific Projects at the ISS, Jeff Hoffman, speaking to "Eurofora" in Strasbourg, during an event organized by the International Space University (ISU) here, as early as already since August 2010, (See: ..., etc)revealed that Obama's main Motivation for doing so, had been his will to Focus Research on Genetic Research on Human Beings, apparently Facilitated in Zero Gravity at the ISS, (as, the former US President had already shown earlier, by the Fact that his ...1st Decision at the White House was to Cancel a Prohibition of Federal Funding for Genetic Manipulations on Human Embryos, that his Predecessor, former US President GWBush, had established on August 2001)...


    Indeed, Obama's exceptionally High pre-Electoral Campaign's Private Funding, (the Biggest in USA's History !), Both on 2008 and 2012 Elections, includes Many "Big Pharma" Corporations, as Facts show. Even if, almost 10 Years Later (2008-2018), Despite a lot of Money vainly wasted on so-called "Medical Research" during all this Time, nevertheless, all this Failed to Bring any significant Breakthrough for Human Health until Nowadays, (But Resulting Only in the Invention of the Controversial "Gene Editing" Technique of "CRISPR9", notoriously Dangerous for all Humankind, since it may Alter even the Genome of Future Generations, normaly Prohibited by BioEthics' Law : See, f.ex., ..., etc).


    => So that, to put it in a nutshell,  Nowadays, European People have to Choose :


- Do they like to Waste Money on Controversial and UnPopular Turkey's EU bid, under the False Pretext that this might, eventually, serve to Stop Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants brought in Europe by Turkish Smugglers, (while, in Fact, the Western Balkans' Route was Closed Earlier by European States which are no more letting those Masses comming through Turkey to Pass their Borders : Comp. Supra)? And/or on "Big Pharma", which, after more than 10 Years of Massive Funding for Genetic Manipulations on Humans, Failed to find any Medical Breakthrough for Health, but only resulted into a notoriously Dangerous Technique, with great Risks for Humankind (Comp. Supra) ? 

- Or, do they Prefer for Europe to Develop many and various, useful High-Tech. Capabilities, thanks to that Unique Generator of Inventions, which is Human Space Flight and Space Exploration (Comp. Supra) ?


The forthcoming EU's Elections, Debates and Votes, (including on the Financial Perspectives : Comp. Supra), can give some good Opportunities to usefully Enlighten the necessary Dialogue between EU Citizens and their Political Representatives on these Key Issues, able to Help Forge a Better Future.

 isu_ssp_19_strasbourg_space_studies_program_june__august_2019_eurofora_400

 In this regard, an International Space University's 2,5 Months-long, Space Studies' Program, this Summer 2019 in Strasbourg, apparently due to Focus on Moon projects, could certainly bring some concrete Topical Insights.

 


(../..)
 

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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send, Earlier, to "Eurofora"'s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be Published asap).


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 sarko_merkel_mieux

The official presentation of a "Program" respecting People's choices voted in the June 7, 2009 EU Elections, to be debated in EU Council and EU Parliament during its 1st Session on July in Strasbourg, is the No 1 Priority, according to Democratic principles, for the Franco-German axis, said the main winners at the ballot box, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel.

They stressed  that the New EU Commission's President must have a "Program" in favor of an EU which "protects" its Citizens, regulates financial markets and aims at a "Political" Europe" : a wording they have used as incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid.

They also declared ready for a "political" endorsment of "Mr. Barroso's candidacy" in June's EU Council, considering that an official decision would have to be made after EU Parliament's debates and votes, possibly from next month (July), with the legally necessary final acceptance shortly after Lisbon Treaty's entry into force, hoped for September or October.


- "A Program, and Mr. Barroso" : This resumes, in substance, the anouncements made by Sarkozy and Merkel, on the question of current EU Commission's President, Barroso's declared wish to succeed to himself for a second mandate, to be extended during the following 5 years.

 In their 1st meeting after EU Elections, they observed that "the Franco-German axis counted in European Elections' campaign... But, we both keep a realistic view : We saw the number of those who abstained, and we must absolutely give them an answer. We also see the disilusionment of an important number of Europeans vis a vis Europe, and we are aware of the responsibilities we have".

sarko

 - The "Duty" of the new EU Commission's President, after June 7, 2009 EU Elections' result, "is to act for a Europe which protects the Europeans, to commit himself into working for a better Regulation of Financial transactions, ... and to have a Political will for Europe", underlined Sarkozy.

Therefore, "we have asked M. Barroso... to clarify, to officialy present the intentions he has", he anounced.

- "We want to speak also about the Programme", explained Merkel.

- "It's important that for the next EU Parliament's mandate (2009-2014) we take the right Decisions for Europe.  Obviously on Persons, but mainly Decisions on Issues", she stressed.

- "It's not simply a question of a Person, it's also a question of a Programme". We are "really asking Mr. Barroso to commit himself on a Program, and on Principles, on Values", Sarkozy added.

EU President-in-office, Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, accepted the Franco-German stance :

- "Barroso must present his Programme. The Czech Presidency agrees with that", Fischer reportedly said later, after meeting Sarkozy.

But Press reports from Brussels claimed that Barroso had preferred to be officially appointed by EU Council since June, (i.e. next week), "because this was implied by the current Treaty of Nice, according to him", and considered any delay until the possible ratification of the new, Lisbon Treaty on September/October, as "undemocratic".

- "At any case, independently of what Germany and France ask, it's also EU Parliament's wish". "We shall propose Mr Barroso's candidacy... But even in the framework of Nice Treaty, EU Parliament has to be associated in this Decision", the French President observed.

If this is correctly done, then "we support Mr. Barroso's candidature", and "if the (EU) Parliament agrees, we might ratify this decision since July", (i.e. next month), they both said.

smerkem_400

- "France and Germany support Baroso's candidacy, But we want to speak also on the Program. We believe that this Program should be established in close cooperation with EU Parliament, and that's why we have followed an appropriate way", said Merkel.  - If EU Parliament wants, this election can take place on July,  but this must be done in full agreement.

- "We shall support Mr. Barroso's candidacy, without doubt", said Sarkozy. "But we have asked from Mr. Barroso, as I told him yesterday, to put into detail.. his intentions, at the eve of his 2nd mandate, if the situation avails itself.


    France and Germany "don't want to take an Official Legal Decision by writting" during "the next (EU) Council" (on June 18-19), declared Sarkozy.  Because they prefer, at this stage, only "a Political decision" on June, "so that we (EU Council) can work together with EU Parliament", which starts to meet only Next Month, since July in Srasbourg, "leaving a Legal decision by writting for later".

    - "If the Conditions are fuillfiled in EU Parliament, we (EU Council) are ready to give the agreement and make it offficial", said Merkel

    - "But, now we are working in the base of Nice Treaty. If tommorow we want to work in the spirit of Lisbon Treaty, we have to find a proper way", she added.

    - "Of course it's Legally complicated, because we are going to make a Political proposal to the forthcoming Council, for an EU Commission's President, on the basis of Nice Treaty : So, we (EU Council) will not appoint the Commissioners. Only the President.  If EU Parliament agrees, it could endorse this position on July", explained Sarkozy.

    But, on Autumn, "if Ireland ratifies Lisbon Treaty, there will be, at any case, a 2nd Decision, to appoint the Commission's President, this time on the basis of Lisbon treaty, and then, we, the EU Member States, would have to appoint (also) the EU Commissioners", he added.

    As for the precise Timing :  - "Everything is suspended until the Irish vote... Now, we must all make everything possible to help Ireland to say "Yes"" to Lisbon Treaty... The Irish Referendum, ..will take place either on September or on October. It's a Question which depends on the Irish. And,  then, we shall have the Choice of the Candidates for the permanent Institutions of Europe".

    However, "if Ireland says No, we, French and Germans, have to assume our responsibilities, and we'll do so", he concluded.

    But British and Swedish governments were reportedly eager to have a final EU Council decision on Barroso since this month, on June's European Council. While the other EU Member Countries are divided, several of them preferring to wait until EU Parliament pronounces itself, on July, and/or until Lisbon Treaty might be ratified by Ireland at the beginning of the Autumn. Barroso's current mandate ends on November.

    There are also various, contradictory and/or unpredictable reactions inside EU Parliament vis a vis Barroso's wish to continue a 2nd mandate, because many MEPs are openly or secretly opposed, reluctant, or hesitating.

    In the biggest EU Countries, as France and Germany, EU Citizens voted on June 2009 EU Elections for a renovated, non-technocratic but Political Europe which cares for its Citizens, with an Identity, Values and Borders, declared incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid, by mainstream, pro-European Governing Parties. Similar choices were also supported in several other small or medium EU Countries.

    On the contrary, whenever, in other Countries, Governing and other mainstream Parties didn't make these choices or eluded them, EU Citizens massively voted for euro-Sceptics whenever they were the only ones to to promise anti-bureacratic change and oppose Turkey's demand to enter into the EU, (f.ex. in the UK, Netherlands, etc).

    It's seems to be an Open Question whether Sarkozy and Merkel's conditions will be really accepted by Barroso, who was appointed on 2004 in a different political context, (with Socialist Prime Ministers in Germany, France, etc), had rejected in the Past the idea of EU becoming "equal to the USA" as "ridiculous", and pushed for Turkey's contoversial EU bid, trying to "soften" or contain the changes desired by the People who voted for Merkel and Sarkozy with another policy vis a vis Turkey on 2005 in Germany and on 2007 in France, as they did all over Europe on 2009.

    In addition to many EPP Governments, it's 3 remaining Socialist Prime Ministers : Gordon Brown in the UK, Zapatero in Spain, and Socrates in Prortugal, who support Barroso, as well as Liberal Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt. But their Parties lost the June 2009 EU Elections.

    Questioned whether there was still "Time" for "other" possible "Candidates", Sarkozy and Merkel did not deny, nor made any comment on that, but simply said that "it's not for us to make publicity for any candidates. We anounced our choice ("A Program, and Mr. Barroso"). But we respect any other candidate".

    Among various other names cited are former Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt, former UNO's Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson of Ireland, Italian former EU Commission's vice-President Monti, etc. Meanwhile, Luxembourg's PM Juncker, (who had been unanimously accepted by EU Council for EU Commission's Presidency on 2004, but refused), announced his intention to resign from "EuroGroup"'s Chair. Thus, he might be available for another Top EU job.

    As "EuroFora"'s "opinion" said (See publication dated 9/6/09) : - "If the current candidates (i.e. Barroso, etc) to the Top EU jobs promise and guarantee to respect People's democratic choices, then, it's OK".

"Otherwise, Europe must find new candidates, really motivated and able to implement these democratic choices of the People."

    Because, "in Democracy, the forthcoming choices for EU's Top Jobs,...should be made according to EU Citizens' Votes in June 7, 2009 European Elections, and main EU Governments' strategic policies".
        

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