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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
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*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.

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 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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(Opinion)

Paris - Bruxelles - Strasbourg, 2 septembre 2008

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Le spectaculaire succès du Président français, Nicolas Sarkozy, (en tête de l'UE jusqu'a décembre), à obtenir de suite un cessez le feu inattendu entre la Russie et la Georgie, immédiatement après sa visite aux Présidents Medvedev et Saakashvili, au pire moment de tensions et heurts violents meurtieurs, qui avaient tué plusieurs innocents et provoqué le deplacement forcé de réfugiés par milliers, lui donne incontestablement une stature vraiment européenne :

A ses liens personnels bien connus avec l'Hongrie, la Grece, l'Italie ou l'Espagne, en sus de son amitié avec la chancelière allemande Merkel, son souhait d'essayer d'attirer l'Angleterre au jeu européen, etc, s'y ajoute, maintenant, une réussite, fragile certes, mais importante, au combat pour la Paix dans la "grande" Europe du général De Gaulle, "jusqu'a l'Oural", qui inclut naturellement la Géorgie, l'Arménie et d'autres pays, et ne peut exister qu'avec rapports de confiance et partenartiat stratégique avec la Russie.

Apres avoir réussi à debloquer la situation au Liban, (pays avec liens culturels historiques en Europe), lors du Sommet pour la Méditerranée à Paris, juillet dernier, (comme atteste maintenant le prémier accord d'echange d'Ambassadeurs avec la Syrie), Sarkozy activa maintenant une présidence française de l'EU bien entreprenante, à l'autre bout de l'Europe, à Moscou, où, contrairement à Napoléon, il a été reçu avec soulagement par le nouveau président russe, ami de l'experimenté Vladimir Poutine.

Cet homme politique rélativement nouveau au plan politique européen, avec une vision souvent critique ou même critiquée, à tort ou a raison, mais ambitieuse et concrete a la fois, qui aime s'adresser aux "Européens", comme il dit, n'est-il pas bien placé pour stimuler le fameux débat sur l' "Identité de l' Europe", qu'il a proposé au Parlement Européen récemment à Strasbourg, moins d'un an avant les Elections européennes de 2009 ?

En 2007, il a réussi à faire monter spectaculairement la participation citoyenne aux élections présidentielles en France, obtenant des récords historiques :

N'est-ce pas, justement ce que l' Europe a bésoin, apres 2 abstentions majoritaires sans précedent aux Elections de 1999 et 2004, et 3 "Non" aux réferenda pour ses institutions en 2005 et 2008, pendant une décennie trouble 1999-2008, (marquée surtout par la demande controversée de la Turquie d'entrer dans l'UE eclipsant les avancées de la Monnaie unique et de la liberté de circulation à l'espace Shengen, avec consequences mal-ressenties par la majorité des citoyens, bien au-délà des clivages du passé), qui a failli stopper l'integration européenne ?

Et cela, au moment même ou une globalisation galopante met l'Europe devant un choix crucial entre saut qualitatif en avant, apte à valoriser une occasion historique exceptionelle à se développer résolument, après les vaines destructions, querelles et tensions des guerres "chaudes" ou "froides" qui lui ont couté son rang dans le Monde, ou réculer définitivement en décadence...

Alors, que certains de nos amis à la Commission en Bruxelles, lui laissent au moins un peu d'espace de mouvement, et qu'ils l'aident à tenter d'insufler de l' oxygène frais et vivifiant aux rapports entre les citoyens et une Europe qui a manifestement bésoin et mérite de retrouver d'urgence un nouveau dynamisme populaire, avec un souci de réalisme mais aussi une vision passionante pour son avenir !

Après tout, les Etats Unis d' Amérique ne se sont pas faits à coups de bureaucratie, nécessaire et utile, mais manifestement insuffisante : Sans l'impulsion d'hommes politiques originaux, d'intellectuels vraiment engagés, et, surtout, sans l'enorme énergie émanant de la conscience d'enjeux à la fois pratiques et grandioses, bien resentis par des millions de citoyens, stimulant leur adhésion active comme pioniers d'un nouveau avenir commun à construire, ils seraient encore une ex-colonie périphérique, affaiblie par stériles divisions, passif et impuissant spectateur des convulsions tragiques d'un Monde à la dérive...

Que les vrais "européens" ré-lisent au moins les fameux discours historiques sur l' Europe d'un Sarkozy bien inspiré à Strasbourg, aussi bien avant qu'après avoir gagné les élections françaises, le 21 février et le 2 juillet 2007, après son 1er sommet des Bruxelles, qui a adopté le nouveau Traité de l'UE en conclusion de la presidence allémande : Bonnes lectures pour cet été 2008, afin de préparer l' avenir qui s'ouvrira (ou fermera) à partir des élections européennes de 2009.

Peut-etre revelera-t-il plus, en ce sens, lors de ses 2 discours-debats prochains avec les eurodeputés, prévus lors des sessions plenières du Parlement Européen a Strasbourg en octobre et décembre 2008... 

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Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner had already unveiled President Sarkozy's intentions, during a particularly "hot" Press Conference in Paris, where he faced some's insistance for "sanctions", with a call for "a common EU stance". In the meanwhile, he was consulting "all these days" most of his EU, Russia and Georgia counterparts, (as Sarkozy's Spokesman, P-J. Henin confirmed to "EuroFora"). This allowed him to obtained the desired result, as EU Chairman, at a short, exceptional EU Summit in Brussels, afterwards.

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But, Sarkozy's No 1 official, Presidential palace's Secretary General Claude Gueant, active at Elysee during the 2008 Ambassadors' Conference, (together with his Top Diplomat, the experienced David Levitte), is well known for having an overall view : A link with 2009 EU Elections at the horizon ?

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