NewSpace industry demands rethink at ESA in open letter

Published on Wed, 23.11.2022 – 08:43 CET in Politics, covering Europa

In preparation for the ESA Ministerial Council Conference, numerous NewSpace companies called for a rethink at ESA. According to the open letter, fair and transparent competition should promote the organic growth of the space industry in Europe. The signatories call for opening the award process for launches in Europe to all.

The content

The original wording

The upcoming ESA Ministerial Council Conference is happening at a turning point in Europe and the global space ecosystem. Independent, resilient and competitive access to space out of Europe, which is currently at risk, will support European member states to solve challenges and problems that we, as a society, are facing.

The space transportation ecosystem in Europe is at a delicate moment. Access to space for Europe in the coming years is limited and becoming a bottleneck for European space ecosystem growth. In parallel, from 2023, new commercial European launch service providers will be operational.

In order to strengthen the fragile access to space capability in Europe, we request that launches for all institutional missions are procured in an open competition as of immediately, considering all European Launch Service Providers, without restrictions of any kind. Therefore, a new resolution for this matter should be approved at the ESA Ministerial Council Conference.

Having additional access to space that is affordable, flexible, and globally competitive will also impact the satellite industry and related technology companies, which can innovate and grow faster. It will also be positive for the overall space budget, leaving further available funding for new additional missions.

Additionally, ESA spending should prioritize programs the incentivize the space economy and foster innovation such as service contracts, marketplace or the development of breakthrough technologies.

Now is time to act.

Joint Industry Statement
#SignatoryHQNotes / Industry
1AerospacelabBESatellite manufacturer
2COACTUMCHSpace Transportation
3DcubeDDESupplier satellite technology
4D-OrbitITSpace Logistics
5ExoLaunchDELaunch services and mission management
6HyImpulseDELauncher manufacturer
7Isar AerospaceDELauncher manufacturer
8IsispaceNLCubeSat manufacturer
9LatitudeFRLauncher manufacturer
10Leaf SpaceITSatellite communications
11NifroNONorwegian Industrial Forum for Space Affairs
12Open CosmosUKEO-Software
13OIIOO (Zero2Infinity)ESSpace Logistics
14Pangea AerospaceESRocket engine manufacturer
15RDI NetworkESCybersecurity
16Rocket Factory AugsburgDELauncher manufacturer
17SateliotES / USSatellite operator
18SSCSESpace subsystems
19The Exploration CompanyDESpacecraft manufacturer
20UARXESSpace Logistics

As a look at the signatories shows, the demands are supported by companies with a wide variety of focuses. However, they all play an important role in the NewSpace ecosystem, as this is the only way to make space applications usable. To what extent ESA will respond to this open letter and the demands made in it initially remained unclear.

Header Image Credit: Free Footage
Written by M. Weissflog
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