ESA Director General Aschbacher on visit to Austria in Brussels
A few eventful weeks lie behind ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher. After numerous appointments throughout Europe with various ESA member states, a tour of Belgium was on the agenda last week. After his visit to ESEC, the Tyrolean also made a stopover in Brussels. A small piece of home awaited Aschbacher there during his visit to the Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU. Ambassador Gregor Schusterschitz welcomed his compatriot to discuss the future work of ESA, the upcoming SpaceSummit and the use of space for all EU citizens. During the meeting, Ambassador Schusterschitz also presented Aschbacher with the new Austrian Space Strategy 2030+.
Aschbacher praised the meeting afterwards on Twitter: "Excellent discussion with Gregor Schusterschitz on how to accelerate the use of space for Europe's citizens #ClimateAction - in line with the Austrian Space Strategy 2030+."
Space Strategy 2030+
The new red-white-red space strategy places a clear focus on a diverse, scientifically outstanding and competitive space sector that promotes sustainable development on Earth and in space. Likewise, climate protection through space technology is a major issue for the Austrian space industry. The field of Earth observation also plays a strong role in the implementation of these goals.
In Earth observation - the field of expertise of ESA Director General Aschbacher, who has long been head of the ESA Centre for Earth Observation (ESRIN) in Frascati - Europe is one of the strongest players in the international space industry. "With Copernicus Earth observation data and services, Europe is an international leader in monitoring climate and environmental changes. With the help of space research and the data obtained, we can take better and more effective action against the climate crisis," said Climate Action Minister Leonore Gewessler.
Preparations for the European SpaceSummit 2022
One topic that also came up in the conversation between Director General Aschbacher and Ambassador Schusterschitz was the SpaceSummit 2022, with a clear focus on 'Climate Action' - the use of space technology to protect the climate. The Space Summit is scheduled to take place in France in spring 2022.
The Pan-European Space Summit aims to define Europe's ambitions in the use of space for the next decade, announce new flagship projects and discuss the common governance structure at the highest political level.
During an interview at the 36th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs in August, Aschbacher elaborated on the plans for the Space Summit. According to the Director General, they would also herald a new era of cooperation between ESA and the EU. "This was one of my top priorities when I took office as Director General of ESA," Aschbacher said. It was only in June this year that a financial Framework Partnership Agreement was concluded between the two organisations, governing future cooperation on joint projects such as Copernicus and Galileo. "We have built trust. I am very happy that this new beginning has come about."