The European Commission announced Jan. 20 it will award contracts to Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space to build an initial set of next-generation Galileo navigation satellites, shutting out incumbent manufacturer OHB.
Spire Global has raised 20 million euros ($24 million) from the European Investment Bank (EIB), part of a growing effort by European agencies to support space startups.
Seven members of the European Parliament, the legislative branch of the European Union, are pushing for a recovery plan for space companies hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.
The European Union will provide 200 million euros ($222 million) to support Europe’s space industry, in the form of a loan to help fund development of the Ariane 6 and investment in space startups.
The European Commission is recommending a space budget of 16.2 billion euros ($17.9 billion) for 2021 through 2027, a nearly 50 percent increase over the 11 billion euros budgeted for 2014 through 2020.
Airbus and Telespazio announced Sept. 9 that the two companies will establish a partnership to sell excess capacity on France’s upcoming Syracuse 4 series of military communications satellites.
Commissioners speaking this week at the Conference on European Space Policy in Brussels said the continued reservations of European investors about financing space startups is hampering Europe’s ability to keep pace with similar startup activity in the United States.
The European Commission allocated another 96 million euros ($109 million) for the European Space Agency to spend on the Copernicus Earth-observation program in the next two years.
Now is a new time for the public and private sectors in Europe to cooperate, support each other’s goals, and grow the economy in the area of Earth observation.
A draft summary of the European Commission’s space policy raises the issue of retooling Europe’s Galileo navigation and Copernicus Earth observation programs to make them more attractive to Europe’s military forces and whether Europe’s spaceport in South America should receive commission financing.