Matosinhos Manifesto: Accelerating the use of space in Europe
- European Space Agency (ESA) council approved a manifesto to accelerate the use of space in Europe “to tackle the urgent and unprecedented societal, economic and security challenges faced by Europe and its citizens.”
- At the Intermediate Ministerial Meeting that was held in Matosinhos, Portugal, the Council of Ministers unanimously adopted this resolution that lays down a vision for the continent in terms of maintaining and expanding its activities in space.
About European Space Agency
- It is an intergovernmental organisation that was formed in 1975 with the aim of developing Europe’s space capabilities.
- The organisation has 22 member states — Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
- Slovenia, Latvia and Lithuania are Associate Members.
Key decision of resolution
- A new document signed today by ministers from the ESA’s 22 member states outlines three urgent initiatives — dubbed “Accelerators” — and two mission proposals.
- The initiatives involve measures to tackle climate change, respond to natural disasters, and to protect spacecraft from orbital debris and space weather.
- The two missions aim to establish the ESA’s own system to launch astronauts into space and to probe Jupiter’s frozen moon Enceladus.
- The first of these accelerators is for the ESA to start working towards the “Space for a Green Future”, so that people are better able to understand the current state of the planet and to develop scenarios and solutions for sustainable life on Earth.
- This is in line with achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emission targets by the year 2050.
- It is called “Rapid and Resilient Crisis Response”, and it aims to support governments to act decisively on crises facing Europe, from flooding and storms to wildfires.
- The third accelerator mentioned in the resolution is “Protection of Space Assets”, whose objective is to safeguard ESA astronauts and assets from interference by space debris and space weather.