Wednesday, September 26, 2012
German, French, Italian and British space agencies outlined the positions they will defend at what may be a rough conference in November to set Europe’s space policy direction for the next several years....
Germany remains attached to the international space station and does not want Europe’s support for it to run out of steam now that development is done and station operations are in full swing.
ESA wants its 20 governments in November to commit to financing the station’s operations through 2020. For this to succeed, Germany, ESA’s contributor to station operations, must persuade France and Italy to maintain their investments.
France and Italy, in turn, want German support for launch vehicles and for the ExoMars project to send a telecommunications orbiter, a lander and a rover to Mars on two missions in 2016 and 2018. Both launches are to be provided by Russian Proton rockets as part of a cooperative effort with the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, which is expected to confirm its participation at the November conference.
Enrico Saggese, president of the Italian Space Agency, ASI, said Italy wants not only ExoMars support, but also backing for upgrades to the Italian-led Vega small-satellite launch vehicle, which conducted a successful inaugural flight in February.
Saggese said advances in electric propulsion for telecommunications satellites could bring these satellites’ weight down to where they could be launched by an upgraded Vega.
Saggese said Italy views ExoMars as the nation’s flagship mission and would support others’ flagships in return for help with ExoMars. “Germany has the [space station], France has launchers and Italy has ExoMars. We will work hard to help our friends, and to have our friends help us,” Saggese said.
Thierry Duquesne, director of programs at the French space agency, CNES, outlined France’s concerns about the long-term financial viability of the current Ariane 5 ECA rocket, which is marketed and operated by the Arianespace consortium of Evry, France.
Despite maintaining a commercial market share of about 50 percent, Arianespace still requires annual support payments from ESA governments to maintain financial equilibrium. Many ESA governments want these payments, of around 120 million euros ($150 million), to be “drastically reduced, or even cut off,” Duquesne said.
The problem is that the commercial market is getting tougher, not easier, for Arianespace with the arrival of the Falcon 9 rocket built by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. of Hawthorne, Calif., and the possible arrival of the Chinese Long March rocket as a full commercial player.
I like the phrase "requires annual support payments from ESA governments to maintain financial equilibrium". So much shorter and simpler than "needs more subsidy".
And this is something our cartel parties all prefer to a commercially viable British orbital capacity promoted through X-Prizes.
And this is what the commercially viable Space-X plans - going to Mars.
And by the way ot turns out that Mats has considerable climate variations. Presumably evidence of Martians driving SUVs since we all know the media insist solar variability cannot be the cause of climater changes.
And since all the media have been pushing the claim that Arctic sea ice is at a minimum and proves catastrophic warming is happening they must all, unless journalists are corrupt fascist propagandists willing to tell absolutely any lie and censor absolutely any fact for their obscene thieving totalitarian masters, will be equally diligent in reporting that the cause of low Arctic ice was storms that broke up the ice sheet and the Antarctic ice sheet is at a high point and more than compensates for the Arctic. Nope - looks like I am wrong and they are, almost all, corrupt fascist propagandists willing to tell absolutely any lie and censor absolutely any fact for their obscene thieving totalitarian masters so they aren't reporting the truth.