European Commission Space Programme

European Commission Space Programme, June 8th 2018

The European commission had proposed on Wednesday that the EU make a large rise in investment in its space programmes from €12bn over the last seven years to €16bn for 2021 to 2027.

–          Galileo i EGNOS9.7 bn,

–          Copernicus5.8 bn,

–          Safety programmes, €500 mil,

–          GOVSATCOM – civil defense,

–           SSA/SSTSpace Situational Awareness (SSA) / Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) .

Space programme

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ESA Ice Cubes space research service open for business

ICE Cubes model

The first European facility for commercial research on the International Space Station was installed today in Europe’s space laboratory Columbus. The International Commercial Experiments service – ICE Cubes for short – offers fast, simple and affordable access for research and technology experiments in microgravity.

NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold installed the ice-box-sized facility in the European Physiology Module in the Columbus laboratory. ICE Cubes gets its power, temperature regulation and communications from Columbus.

The facility hosts experiments designed around 10 cm cubes (1U) or combinations of this volume – there is room for 12 cubes on top and two rows of four cubes below. Experiments can also float freely through the Columbus laboratory and communicate wirelessly with the facility to send data to Earth.

The first experiments are going to be launched on the next SpaceX Dragon supply vessel scheduled for launch this month. Designed to be plug-and-play, the experiment cubes only need to be slotted into the facility for them to work.

The first ICE Cubes experiments from the International Space University highlight the versatility of the service. One will investigate plant biology, another will bio-mine with microbes, and a third merges the arts and science by using a person’s heart rate to change a piece of kaleidoscopic artwork.

Get your space in space

Columbus laboratory

The ICE Cubes service is based on a partnership with Space Applications Services and is part of ESA’s human and robotic exploration strategy to ensure access to the weightless research possibilities in low Earth orbit.

From idea to reality in a year, anybody’s experiment can be launched to the Space Station. Service launches occur typically three times a year. With one point of contact and over two decades of space research know-how, getting an experiment designed, built and in compliance with International Space Station standards has never been easier.

The price starts from €50 000 for a 1-kg experiment with an end-to-end service package running for four months, with cheaper rates for educational organisations.

Stay connected
ICE Cubes control centre

ICE Cubes offers unprecedented 24-hour direct access to its experiments via a dedicated mission control centre at Space Applications Services’ premises in Sint-Stevens-Woluwe, Belgium. Clients can connect at any time to their experiment from their own location over internet to read the data and even send commands directly.

The experiments themselves will be highlighted on the ESA website over the next few weeks. Visit the ICE Cubes service website for more information and contact details.

The space industry is now 2% of Luxebourg’s GDP

Luxembourg, one of Europe’s smallest countries is gradually becoming a giant in the space industry.

With a population of just over 590.000, Luxemourg now generates nearly 2 percent of its annual GDP ($61 billion in 2016 ) from the space industry, according to Deputy Prime Minister Etienne Schneider.

Luxembourg’s sights are set on resources in space, and the country’s “space resources initiative” is plans to make the most out of a quickly growing global industry, Schneider says. “It’s a series of measures to position Luxembourg as the European heart of exploration and use of space resources.”

Space mining is Luxembourg’s present focus, but it is not the country’s first encounter with the space industry. In 1985, Luxembourg launched a public-private partnership with satellite builder SES. While Schneider said he believes the satellite business has not reached a negative trend, he does not anticipate the space industry growing beyond the 2 percent GDP mark any time soon.

You can read more about the Deputy Prime Minister’s comments via this link.