How can small countries find their role in space activities

This document is result of panel discussion on the topic “Small Countries in Space Era”, motivated by the rapidly evolving development in Space exploration, harnessing the benefits from it for the wellbeing of humanity and future presence of humans there. Small countries should also find their role in this endeavor but in competition with large conglomerates the question is HOW?

Preamble

A stable and prosperous society needs to be creative in science and technology, and to be globally competitive. Two factors that determine success are creatively educated members of the community and leadership in new ideas. For a small country, with a reasonably educated population, it is therefore of utmost importance to determine trends in the field of science and technology and to focus their development efforts in this direction. Research and development in Space activities offers opportunities to small countries to participate as an active member. This primarily requires defining strategic direction of development in the field of aerospace high technology industries, basic science and development as well as activities in the field of space medicine, space law and space tourism.

Recommendations

The essential trait of Space programs is interdisciplinary and cutting across the responsibilities of several ministries. Therefore, the basic step towards commencing a Space program is setting up a Space Agency by the funding ministries of Science, Transport, Economy (where technology is incorporated) and Defence. The National Space Agency should ideally cover all sectors of Space program, with experts in their fields. The follow up of establishing Space Agency is to set up a National Space Strategy that has two principal segments:
1. National Space Program (Research, Technology and Applications)
2. International contacts: ESA, EU, bilateral cooperation
Both these segments form the basis for accession to the membership of European Space Agency. The Space Strategy should encompass the long term and short-term development objectives and define the areas of priority.

The path to becoming a full member of ESA is to first sign a Framework Programme and then to become a co-operating state and thereby join the PECS (Plan for European Cooperating States) programme. The PECS Charter, which lasts for five years, shall enable the country to develop its space industry with ESA’s support. The next step is Associate Membership of ESA and lastly, Full Membership of ESA. The National Space Agency represents the country in the ESA council and programme boards. It also advises the government on levels of commitment in the optional programmes of ESA in line with the space strategy. To support the creation of space start-up companies it is advisable to set up an ESA Business Incubation Centre (ESA-BIC).

In parallel, there should be a national space programme to prepare industry and academia for the competitive environment of ESA and EC contracts and to enable fruitful bi-lateral collaborations. As a member of the European Union, the country also participates in the down-stream space programme of the EU, which is implemented by the European Commission. Examples are Satellite Navigation (EGNOS and Galileo), Earth Observation (Copernicus), Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and the GOVSATCOM Programme. To utilize the Public Regulated Service of Galileo Ministries of Interior and Defence should set up a Competent PRS Authority (CPA).

Institute Ruđer Bošković, Zagreb, Croatia, October 13, 2019

Prof. Dr. Slobodan Danko Bosanac
President of the Adriatic Aerospace Association

The signatories to the document are:
Petr Bares, President, Czech Space Alliance
Prof. Dr. Sc. Slobodan Danko Bosanac, President, Adriatic Aerospace Association
Mag. Dr. Andreas Geisler, Appointed Head of the FFG Aeronautics and Space Agency.
Prof. Dr. Tomaž Rodič, Director, Slovenian Centre for Space Sciences and Technologies
Prof. Dr. Carsten Scharlemann, Head of Deparment, Aerospace Engineering, University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt
Prof. Heinz Stoewer, Founder of Space Associates GmbH
Dr. Sc. Hrvoje Zorc, Adriatic Aerospace Association

Adria Space Conference 2019

We are pleased to announce the 1st Adria Space Conference 2019 that is going to be held in Zagreb, Croatia on October 4th 2019.

Adria Space Conference 2019

Regional Cooperation on SpaceTechnology

Organizer:
Adriatic Aerospace Association (A3)
Ruđer Bošković Institute
University of Zadar

Sponsored by:
The Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts of the Republic of Croatia

Chair: Slobodan Bosanac Ph.D., President of the A3

Adriatic Aerospace Conference is the organizer of the first regional meeting devoted to collaboration in space technologies. The goal of the Conference is to stimulate and strengthen the regional cooperation in research and development of advanced technologies, mainly used in space activities. The profile of the Conference is one-day meeting, where all participants will briefly report on their current activities and future programs. This should give push for further common developments in the field of nano-satellite technologies like construction, functions, propulsion, communication, attitude control, and similar. It is intended that the conference acquires annual character as a gathering of participants in space research and development in SE Europe.

More information on web page of the Conference.

Organizing Committee:

S. Bosanac, Ph.D., Adriatic Aerospace Association
M.Ivanda, Ph.D., Ruđer Bošković Institute
I. Jakić, CEO, IJEX GmbH
D. Kočiš, Adriatic Aerospace Association, World Space Week Croatia
I. Ljubić, Ph.D., Ruđer Bošković Institute
G. Verbanec, Ph.D., University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science,
H. Zorc, Ph.D., Adriatic Aerospace Association
S. Petrović,
D. Ramljak, Ph.D., Senior Science and Innovation Expert The World Bank

Ethiopian Space Policy enacted by Ethiopia Cabinet of Ministers

Ethiopia has joined the league of African nations with Space policies after the nation’s cabinet of ministers enacts the Ethiopian Space Policy today December 22, 2018. This was confirmed by the Ethiopian Minister of Innovation and Technology, Dr. Eng. Getahun Mekuria. The policy would guide all activities of the country in the peaceful use of outer space especially on capitalizing on space technologies to tackle socio-economic challenges in the country.

During the cabinet meeting where the Ethiopian Space Policy was enacted into law. Photo Credit: @DrGetahun

Remember in October, Ethiopian Prime minister Abiy Ahmed approved a new ministerial portfolio with a record number of female ministers consisting 10 out of the 20 ministers, about 2 months later, this cabinet enacted Ethiopian Space Policy into law.

The history of interest in space science and technology in Ethiopia dates back to 2004 when three aspiring astronomers gathered a group of 47 space  enthusiasts to form the Ethiopian Space Science Society. The Society, which has recruited over 10,000 members since being launched in 2004, achieved the milestone of establishing East Africa’s only space observatory facility on the 3,200-metre hills of Entoto.

With work currently ongoing regarding the development of Ethiopian first satellite, the national space policy has been passed at the most appropriate time. Ethiopia joined other African countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco etc. who have national space policies.

Original article: https://africanews.space/ethiopian-space-policy-enacted-by-ethiopia-cabinet-of-ministers/

UK ends Galileo talks, says it will explore a homegrown alternative

The United Kingdom has walked away from negotiations over its post-Brexit involvement in the European Unions Galileo global navigation satellite system (GNSS).

Instead of using Galileos military-grade signal, Prime Minister Theresa May announced Nov. 30 that the U.K. will explore building its own GNSS.

Expected to reachfull operational capacity in the 2020s, Galileo is the EUs answer to navigation systems like the United StatesGPS. Galileos Public Regulated Service (PRS) — a secure and encrypted signal used for defense and government purposes — is meant to be restricted to EU members.

That means that after Brexit, British companies would not be able to bid for contracts involved in developing and maintaining PRS, and the U.K. would have to work out a deal with the EU even to become a passive user of the military-grade signal, unless another arrangement was reached.

May blamed the end of the negotiations on the European Commissions “decision to bar the UK from being fully involved in developing all aspects of Galileo.”

Instead of using Galileo’s military-grade signal, Prime Minister Theresa May announced Nov. 3 that the U.K. will explore building its own GNSS. Credit: ESA artist’s concept

“I cannot let our Armed Services depend on a system we cannot be sure of,” May said in a statement. “That would not be in our national interest. And as a global player with world-class engineers and steadfast allies around the world we are not short of options.”

Sam Gyimah, the U.K.s universities and science minister, resigned from his post in protest, calling Galileo “only a foretaste of what’s to come” under the Brexit deal.

“Having surrendered our voice, our vote and our veto, we will have to rely on the ‘best endeavours’ of the EU to strike a final agreement that works in our national interest,” Gyimah wrote in a long statement posted to his Facebook page. “As Minister with the responsibility for space technology I have seen firsthand the EU stack the deck against us time and time again, even while the ink was drying on the transition deal. Galileo is a clarion call that it will be ‘EU first,’ and to think otherwise—whether you are a leaver or remainer—is at best incredibly naive.”

Some space policy experts said its not out of the question for a deal over Galileo access to be reached in the future.

“Theres no reason Britain should have given up trying to gain access to PRS as a passive user, in the same way that the United Statesmilitary allies use GPS for the military signal,” said Bleddyn Bowen,a lecturer in international relations at the University of Leicester. “The EU wasnt ruling out that Britain could use PRS as a passive third-party in the same way we do with GPS.”

Similarly, Sa’id Mosteshar, of the London Institute of Space Policy and Law, said that the armed forces of non-EU members can gain access to the signal under asecurity agreement with the EU. “It was open to the U.K. to reach such an agreement and it is surprising that it has decided not to do so,” Mosteshar said.

Bowen added that the Brexit process is in “quite a moment of flux” and he thought the Galileo issue could be picked up again in the future.

“The declaration from Theresa May was basically, I think, to make Britain look like it had agency in the matter rather than cutting off its nose to spite its face,” Bowen said. “It is really more political theater as May is now fighting at this crunch moment in the Brexit process because Parliament may be undertaking a contempt of Parliament motion against her.”

Earlier this year U.K. space officials had floated the idea that they could partner with another country, such as Australia, to build a new GNSS. In August, the British government announced it would spend92 million pounds ($117 million) from a “Brexit readiness fund” to study the prospects for building an independent alternative to Galileo.

“The cost of developing a national replacement has been estimated to be in the region of £3 billion to £5 billion ($3.8 billion to $6.3 billion) and this is a significant expenditure when considering that the current U.K. space budget is only £370 million ($470 million) per year with the majority of that going to fulfill U.K. commitments to ESA,” said Christopher Newman, a professor of space law and policy at Northumbria University.

Newman added that it wasnt clear where the budget for such an expensive project would come from.

“Either it wipes out the existing U.K. space budget for 10 years,” he told SpaceNews, “or, as is more likely, it is additional defense expenditure that others will argue could be much more effectively be spent elsewhere.”

Though Galileo is an EU program, it is operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), a separate body which the U.K. will remain part of after Brexit. Newman said the Galileo negotiations may have damaged the U.K.’s ability “to maintain good relationships across ESA.”

 “The U.K.’s commitments to working collaboratively in space with European partners contrasts sharply with some of the bellicose rhetoric that has been seen in respect of the Galileo program,” Newman said. “This will not have gone unnoticed by potential collaborators when further, lucrative space-based projects are put out for tender by the EU.”

The Financial Times reported that the British government is expected to seek compensation for the 1.2 billion pounds ($1.5 billion) it has invested in Galileo’s development.

Original article: SpaceNews.com

ESA’s space vision presented at Paris Peace Forum

ESA astronaut Claudie Haigneré attended the Paris Peace Forum this weekend, presenting the Agency’s vision for engaging humankind in multilateral cooperation for space exploration with peaceful objectives.

An initiative launched by President Macron of France, the Paris Peace Forum is an annual platform for global governance projects and was conceived as a response to tensions in the contemporary world. Taking place this year on 11-13 November, the centenary marking the end of the First World War, the event includes the attendance of over 60 international Heads of State.

Based on the belief that durable peace can only be achieved through international cooperation in several sectors, including space exploration, the Forum was an ideal opportunity to present ESA’s ‘Moon Village’ vision. This foresees a peaceful global cooperation to achieve a space landmark for humankind in 21st century, realising the potential of humankind as spacefaring species, while providing benefits and opportunities to as many people as possible on Earth.

Claudie Haigneré
Claudie Haigneré

Astronaut Claudie Haigneré said, “The question is not whether humankind will return to the Moon, but rather when and who. Our ‘Moon Village’ concept is an ambitious vision, a multi-partner open concept, it’s a step to engage all humankind, and not just separate nations, towards a component of its future.”

The Moon Village concept was introduced three years ago as a proposal for the post-International Space Station space programme. Over the last few years, plans to return to the Moon have gained interest and moved up the agendas of government, space agencies and private entrepreneurs.

A number of initiatives and missions are under way: from the US-led Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway and Chinese plans to explore the Moon, to European initiatives conducted through ESA. All these efforts converge towards a common goal: returning to and going forward to the Moon establishing a permanent presence.

But, although international in nature, these projects still replicate to some extent the ‘competitive approach’ of earlier ventures. They lack the global approach that would maximise results, allow wider participation, inspire younger generations and further mutual understanding and cooperation.

ESA has been working to promote this approach, also reaching out to non-space potential partners and other interested parties. This is the chance to rally the whole international community around a truly global vision where, through suitable governance mechanisms, any nation can be part of the effort regardless of their actual space capability.

Claudie Haigneré said, “Mobilised together towards this new step of humankind’s expansion, let us leave aside our national divisions and rivalries. As we move from our planet Earth, our cradle, let us grasp the opportunity to think differently in terms of multilateral cooperation, peaceful objectives, and respect for diverse interests and preservation of our common interests.

“We share the values that are promoted in this forum: respect, peaceful objectives with soft leadership and inclusiveness for inspiration. The spirit of the Moon Village is not taking part in a space race or competition, but an expression of cooperation, shared responsibility and sustainability.

“It not just a temporary adventure, or a nomadic exploration, but a true sustainable endeavour, with the wish to contribute in return to a better management of our planet Earth. We want to gather high-level political will to take this tremendous opportunity to think about the future of humankind on a new basis. The generations of the 21st century will be grateful for this fascinating endeavour.”

Claudie Haigneré and Piero Messina were accompanied by ESA Director General Jan Wörner with the support of ESA astronaut Frank De Winne, Head of the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany.