The number of satellites and debris in space constantly increases due to new developments in reusable launchers, small satellites and more and more private initiatives in space. Niklas Nienass recently highlighted the importance of a European Space Law evolution that ensures liability, security and sustainability in the entire European space sector. Furthermore, more actions relating to the EU Space regulation will be developed.
MEP Niklas Nienass Statement
Satellites are moving our society forward. And the more cost-efficient they become, the more sectors can benefit from their technology. For example, satellites can help optimizing processes in organic farming. But the more satellites there are, the more crowded the orbit becomes. In recent years, the number has increased rapidly. Increasingly, there is a threat of collisions with unforeseeable consequences.
Therefore, the European Union wants to set up mechanisms to make traffic in orbit safer and more sustainable. In February, the European Commission presented a concept for a common Space Traffic Management (STM).
The framework aims to set binding standards and norms for satellite operators by 2024. It also aims to use new technologies to continuously collect and analyze data on the space environment.
This week, the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE), of which I am a member, discussed the project.
For me, it is clear that the European Union must initiate a joint STM. However, I am also convinced that this can only be a first step. We need a European Space Law that ensures liability, security and sustainability in the entire European space sector.
I am very happy, that we have managed to include considerations for such a European regulation in the Committee’s statement on STM.
At the end of the month, I will travel to the U.S. to get first-hand insights into current developments in space. A series of high-level discussions are planned with Congress, the National Space Council, NASA, and companies such as Astroscale, Nanoracks, and SpaceX.
The future of space is currently being shaped largely in the U.S., and a future European regulation must be prepared for developments that will reach us from there in the coming years. At the same time, I am looking to promote our own positions, such as sustainability standards in orbit. In turn, we can learn from the Americans – for example, with regard to the development of a private space economy.
I want Europe to help shape the future of spaceflight – with technical innovations as well as with binding standards that ensure peace, security and sustainability in space.
Communications Niklas Nienass MEP