A very BIG week for EU Space

A very BIG week for EU Space


EU Space Week 2023 welcomed over 3,000 visitors and presenters who joined either in person or virtually from home to discuss everything from using space technology to become the first climate-neutral continent to leveraging satellite services to shield Europe’s security and autonomy.   

Needless to say, it was a very busy week, with far too much happening to summarise in a single article. So, instead, here are just some of the highlights that we took away from three big days in Seville.  

1. Big expectations 

Europe expects big things from the EU Space Programme. According to speakers from the European Commission, EUSPA, the Spanish Space Agency and the European Space Agency (ESA), the space sector is undergoing a massive transformation. To stay competitive, EU Space must adapt to ensure that the EU Space Programme and its various components evolve to continue delivering state-of-the-art space-based services that answer actual user needs. The User Consultation Platforms, dedicated to gather the user needs, are one of the essential means to this end. 

2. A big rocket

Staying competitive also means developing innovative launchers capable of meeting the New Space sector’s demand for advanced payloads. One such launcher is the MIURA 1, a 13-metre-tall rocket designed by European New Space company PLD Space. The suborbital launch vehicle is the first space system capable of carrying payloads into space and then bringing them safely back to Earth.

The MIURA 1 was on display during EU Space Week as part of the annual Demo Day.

3. Big opportunities 

But it’s not just the launchers that are big – New Space itself represents a very big opportunity for European companies. According to some estimates, the New Space economy will hit the USD 1 trillion mark by 2040!

Thanks to such EUSPA-supported funding opportunities as the CASSINI Business Accelerator, CASSINI Challenges and Horizon Europe, European start-ups are already claiming a piece of this lucrative market. For example, Vyoma is developing in-orbit telescopes that, by observing potentially dangerous space objects and debris, will help protect satellites and other New Space assets from being damaged. The CASSINI Prize for digital space applications is another example of how the Entrepreneurship funding scheme of the European Union can be so powerful for companies. 

4. A big impact

Another area where space is having a big impact is climate change and helping the EU achieve its sustainability-related objectives – including the transition to renewable energy. For instance, the energy sector is using Copernicus data to make informed decisions on where to build such critical infrastructure as solar panels, wind turbines and tidal power generation plants.

EGNSS such as Galileo and EGNOS also has a big role to play in the fight against climate change. For instance, the aviation sector is turning to EGNOS to help reduce emissions. According to EUSPA, an EGNOS-based approach at Almeria airport in Spain has helped reduce aircraft emissions by 38%. 

5. A bigger EU Space Programme

EU Space is also set to play a big part in Europe’s safety and security. This means keeping Europe’s space assets secure – a role that is a core part of EUSPA’s mission and safe. 

But it also means using EU Space to provide security-related services, which is why the EU Space Programme is about to get bigger. 

GOVSATCOM and IRIS2 are the latest additions to the EU Space family. The former aims to provide secure and cost-efficient communications capabilities to security and safety critical missions and operations while the latter looks to offer secure, reliable and cost-effective satellite communication services for authorised government users and to facilitate commercial services. In this context, EUSPA produced the first-ever Secure SATCOM Market and User Technology Report to help relevant public and private actors identify business opportunities, set the basis for developing the market, and enable the realization of benefits from satellite communications.

Want to see more highlights from EUSW23? Be sure to check out our X (i.e., Twitter) feed

See you soon for the next edition of the EU Space Week!

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the EUSPA website (http://www.euspa.europa.eu).

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