Space policy: daring or decline
Since the very first manmade satellite was put into orbit in 1957, the space industry has developed at a rate never before seen in the history of technology. Space-related applications benefit all areas of activity. A day without space-based technology would be a day of social and economic chaos. Space is also an irreplaceable observatory of Earth, to help us correct the misuses of our planet. Yet, in many respects Europe's space industry is suffering from an existential crisis. While Europe fails to make any headway, the United States is redoubling its efforts, Russia is reviving its Soviet-era ambition and Japan, China and India are mobilizing for moon exploration. At the moment, Europe and France are proving incapable of keeping pace with this accelerated space race. How to make Europe the world leader in the space industry - this is the subject of the present report prepared by Christian CABAL, Deputy for the Loire, and Henri REVOL, senator for the Côte d'Or, reporters for the Parliamentary Office for the Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Choices. Therefore, the report proposes a long-term vision of the space domain in France and Europe, a new system of governance and different transversal policies. As for the space industry, in each of the main domain – launchers, security/defence, space-based services, exploration and manned flights – France and Europe must increase their investments so as to avoid being left behind indefinitely by the United States and outdistanced by the emerging space powers. The space domain can become a powerful uniting force for Europe and help forge a European identity, for we have the requisite technological skills and financial means.
Short title:
Space policy
Start date:
End date:
Expert-based, Governance, Innovation, Parliament involvement
Project leader:
Office Parlementaire d´Evaluation des Choix Scientifiques et Technologiques of the French Parliament (OPECST)