Space for societal challenges: EU space policy aims to tackle some of the most pressing challenges today, such as fighting climate change or managing natural resources. Space technology, data and services have proven to be indispensable in the life of Europeans and for sustainable development. For example, EU space data is transforming our daily lives with services such as: increasing efficiency in agriculture and fisheries, helping regions and people access knowledge and information, improving crisis response, protecting the environment and helping to tackle climate change, increasing security, improving citizens’ health, optimising transport.
Space sustainability: Working on sustainable space is essential to guarantee the ability of all human beings to continue to use outer space over the long term. There is a need to make the space sector more sustainable and to work on how technology and the environment can thrive together. UNIVERSEH is also conscious that the proliferation of space debris remains the most serious risk of the sustainability of space activities and will contribute to the European effort to address this issue. Moreover, access to space in a sustainable way is a key challenge to be addressed for the future missions.
Space exploration: During ESA’s Council at ministerial level (Space19+ organised in 2019), the Member states committed to space exploration through their involvement in the International Space Station until 2030 and in “Space Gateway,” the first space station to orbit the Moon. European astronauts will fly to the Moon for the first time. Member States have confirmed their support to the ground-breaking Mars Sample Return mission, in cooperation with NASA. Consequently, space exploration is a major priority and UNIVERSEH will contribute to the EU’s effort in this strategic domain.
Space resources and settlement: How humans can live and work beyond Earth is a subject that raises interest, questions and some apprehension. Over the past years, the concept of permanent, autonomous human habitation of locations outside Earth (Moon, Mars, in orbit) has been the subject of literary, scientific or artistic work. Training and research in space exploration can contribute to different domains such as protection of Earth's environment, medicine, agriculture and space economy. Likewise, enhancing visionary ideas and research can lead to breakthroughs and contribute to innovative aerospace concepts.