European space travel

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The Western European space (called European space below) started quite late, although Germany before the Second World War before the Soviet Union was the leading nation in the field of rocket research.

There have been and are numerous national missile programs. Satellite missiles were developed by only two countries: France (several successful Diamond rocket launches between 1965 and 1975) and Great Britain (a successful Black Arrow launch in 1971). In addition, France and Great Britain, and to a lesser extent Italy and Spain , developed sounding rockets . The Hermann-Oberth-Gesellschaft e. V. and the Berthold Seliger research and development companymbH several self-developed rockets with summit heights of up to 150 kilometers in the Wadden area of Cuxhaven . The Federal Republic of Germany, on the other hand, saved its own launch vehicle and set a new milestone in space travel with the German-American helios solar probe project in 1974 and 1976 together with the USA . The first European space probe was Giotto , which was launched in 1985 to explore Comet Halley. The first European weather satellite Meteosat-1 was launched in 1977.

Today, European space travel is primarily coordinated by the European Space Agency , in which 22 countries have come together. There are also 13 other states with association or cooperation status. Space in Europe was thanks to the Ariane 4 and Ariane 5 commercial success, including the close to the equator located spaceport in Kourou contributed. Despite the economic success, many ambitious projects (e.g. space planes ) had to be discontinued over time, mainly for financial reasons. Europe is currently involved in the International Space Station and operates a number of research satellites for the study of the solar system. The Ariane missiles, on the other hand, are hardly competitive internationally; the market is dominated by the reusable US missile Falcon 9 .

Other projects, half of which are funded by the EU , are the Galileo global navigation system , the global observation satellites as part of the Copernicus program and a global telecommunications system. These three projects have civil and military aspects.

The European Union (EU) is working together with the ESA on the creation of a "European space program". The EU is given an important role in this. On the one hand, according to the draft constitution of the Brussels Constitutional Convention, it should be given its own competence in the area of ​​space. On the other hand, the cooperation between the ESA and the EU was put on a formal basis through an EU-ESA framework agreement signed by both sides at the end of 2003 .

For the European space program, in particular the three most important projects Galileo, Copernicus and Egnos , the EU approved investments of around 15 billion euros by 2027 at the end of April 2021.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Europe's Arianespace struggles for relevance in SpaceX era . Financial Times, November 4, 2020.
  2. Wirtschaftswoche: EU Space Program: Almost 15 billion euros for Europe's space dreams. Retrieved April 28, 2021 .