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Space firms have stepped up competition, interest in space: European official

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CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a Crew Dragon spacecraft named Freedom stands ready for launch at pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on April 26, 2022 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Paul Hennessy - Anadolu Agency)
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Sep 14, 2022 - 11:35 AM

BURSA, Türkiye (AA) – Private enterprises which entered the space field such as SpaceX expanded the market and increased competition and interest in space, said an official with the European Space Agency (ESA).

Andrea Vena, the Chief Climate and Sustainability Officer of the ESA, told Anadolu Agency that in the 1950s and 60s, there was a space race between agencies, but now there is a different and commercial race for the first time, and “it is going to give many results.”

Speaking during International Space Convention (ISC) 2022 organized in Marmara province of Bursa last week, he underlined that with SpaceX entering the market, financial institutions have stepped in and provided support for space activities.

This situation was beneficial for the market conditions and competition, he noted, adding: “I think that competition is key for success in any sector, and the space sector is no different.”

Touching on the space industry’s position on environmental issues, he said satellites for decades have been supporting sustainability, especially by providing data and information about the health of the planet.

Vena stressed that climate variables are collected largely from space to compile the reports that are made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Satellites also provide information and data for navigation and telecommunication applications which can be used to benefit the fight against climate change, he said.

“For instance, they can mitigate the effects of climate change, such as forest fires or other dramatic events due to the global warming on the planet.”

On the other side, satellites can mitigate issues linked to the production of food or the management of water, he noted.

Developing countries’ space moves

Mentioning developed and developing countries’ space activities, Vena stressed that the ESA works with many countries around the globe.

“We have been (engaged in) long-lasting cooperation with India, we have been (engaged in) long-lasting cooperation with African countries, and we cooperate with hundreds of countries all around the world,” he said.

So the policy of the ESA is competition and collaboration, he highlighted.

“It’s always very good news when we have space agencies growing up, and Türkiye is not an exception, and we are happy to learn what Türkiye is doing,” he added.

Touching on the Gokmen Space and Aviation Training Center (GUHEM) in Bursa, where the ISC is being organized, he said this magnificent center is very impressive in terms of reaching out for space.

“So I cannot do anything else that encourages Türkiye on this way,” he added.

As Europe’s largest center in its field, GUHEM was established in 2020 under the leadership of the Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the Bursa Municipality and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye.

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