The competition between Astrium Services of Europe and Boeing Commercial Satellite Services of the United States in selling satellite bandwidth to military customers now extends to the military Ka-band capacity on the Yahsat 1B satellite over the Middle East.
The decision by the European Space Agency (ESA) to proceed with next year’s planned launch of the Sentinel 1A Earth observation satellite is welcome news, but the related funding issue that put the launch in doubt in the first place has yet to be resolved.
BRUSSELS — The European Space Agency (ESA), raising the stakes in its battle with the European Commission over the future of Europe’s multibillion-dollar GMES environment-monitoring effort, has threatened to refuse to launch the first group of GMES satellites unless the commission agrees to fund the system’s operations.
The European Commission’s surprise proposal to leave the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) space-based Earth observation initiative out of its latest multiyear spending plan creates uncertainty that could undercut program stakeholders including companies that are investing in GMES-related services and applications. It is an about-face for the commission, which until recently had given every indication that GMES, along with the Galileo satellite navigation system, was a long-term priority.
The European Environment Agency (EEA) expects to produce by the end of July an estimate of what it will cost to design, install and maintain a network of ground-based sensors and other facilities to work as part of Europe’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) Earth observation system, according to Chris Steenmans, head of EEA’s Shared Environmental Information System division.