8 December 2010. ESPI was invited to give a keynote on “Space Exploration as an essential human endeavour”at the hearing event for the preparation of the upcoming Eighth Framework Programme for Research, which was organised by the EC Directorate-General Enterprise and Industry in Brussels.
The FP8 Space Research Hearing Event, which was held in Brussels on 8 December 2010, asked Europe’s space research community to provide the European Commission with ideas and suggestions how to drive the preparation of the FP8 space theme. FP8 shall follow the currently ongoing FP7, which will end in 2013 and supervised a budget of 1.3B€ during its seven year time frame. The event gave a broad overview of all disciplines of space research identifying research needs in the area of space propulsion, deep space navigation and communication, questions related to humans in space like new operational concepts, habitat design, augmented and virtual reality for astronaut training, space sciences ranging from astronomy and astrophysics to astrobiology, earth observation and security.
In his keynote ESPI Resident Fellow Gerhard Thiele pointed out that space exploration is a global and essential human endeavour. He referred to results from the workshop on Human Space Exploration, which was held in May this year at ESPI. He pointed out that the urge to explore is innate to the human being and that the migration of humans and hence life into the cosmos could be seen as an ethical imperative. Though exploration is seen in the different cultures in our world differently, Gerhard Thiele suggested that a specific European approach to Human Space Exploration could be employed. He used the Charta of the European Astronauts as an example and highlighted the vision and the values as laid down in the Charta.
ESPI Resident Fellow Gerhard Thiele (centre) during presentation with hearing chairman Reinhard Schulte-Braucks (EC, Head of Space Research and Development Unit)
Related webnews: - 27 May 2010. Astronauts join at ESPI to discuss cultural backgrounds of human spaceflight - 4 October 2010. Statement "Human Space Exploration - A Quest of Cultures around the World" online - 17 November 2010. Publication of the book "Humans in Outer Space - Interdisciplinary Perspectives"