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Slovenia to focus on STM, not launchers, during EU Presidency

Paris, 6 July 2021. – The Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council has set itself three objectives in the space sector for the next six months, Agence Europe reported.

The new presidency namely wants to advance the project for a European Space Traffic Management (STM) initiative, adopt conclusions to validate the “one space for all” approach and move forward on the project for a secure European satellite broadband constellation, the agency said.

A ministerial conference on space traffic management, for which the Slovenian Presidency will prepare a report, is to be held on 7 July.  A discussion with the objective to reach a consensus on a European project between the Member States is planned for after the conference.

What the Slovenian Presidency will not “dwell on” is the project of a European Alliance on Space Launchers, the agency said; this initiative could rather be of interest to the future French Presidency of the EU Council, it said.

The European Commission, the Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS) and the European Space Agency (ESA) discussed the topic “Space launchers in Europe and future trends” yesterday, ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher said in a tweet.

ESA “listened carefully and will feed into the groundwork for future” ESA proposals for space transportation, Aschbacher said. “(W)e are proposing an ambitious program,” he said.

Aschbacher had recently opted for Europe to develop its own launcher and be able to bring its astronauts to space. “It’s not possible that a political and economic power like Europe cannot fly its own astronauts to space,” he said at the Paris Air Forum in June in Paris.

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