‘Matosinhos Manifesto’ to accelerate the use of Space in Europe | 23 Nov 2021

Why in News

The European Space Agency (ESA) council has approved a manifesto to accelerate the use of space in Europe.

  • Basically, the council has adopted a resolution that lays down a vision for the continent in terms of maintaining and expanding its activities in space.
  • Other than this, the council recognised two “inspirators” to reinforce European leadership in science, technology development and inspiration: an icy moon sample return mission and human space exploration.

Key Points

  • About the Resolution: The resolution defines three “accelerators” to further advance Europe’s space ambitions.
    • Space for a Green Future:
    • Rapid and Resilient Crisis Response:
      • Space applications that allow nations to manage more effectively any crises that crop up.
        • Examples: Severe flooding and wildfires were seen in parts of Europe earlier this year (2021). Also, the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has flagged frequent weather events, such as heatwaves, extreme rainfalls and rising sea levels. Some of these factors may influence the way wildfires play out.
    • Protection of Space Assets:
      • Russia's use of a missile to destroy a satellite in orbit recently has highlighted the need for new systems to safeguard European astronauts and satellites from interference.
  • Significance:
    • It will tackle the urgent and unprecedented societal, economic and security challenges faced by Europe and its citizens.
      • The large-scale nature and fast pace of the climate crisis and other challenges means that no European nation will be able to effectively address them alone.
    • Space has enormous untapped potential to help tackle these challenges, and an acceleration in developing European space capability is now urgently needed.

European Space Agency (ESA)

  • The ESA is an intergovernmental organisation that was formed in 1975 with the aim of developing Europe’s space capabilities.
  • The organisation has 22 member states — Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Slovenia, Latvia and Lithuania are Associate Members.
  • Related Projects:

Source: IE