21 October 2010. ESPI has been invited to participate in the 2nd International Conference on Space Exploration at Ministerial Level and took this opportunity to inform high-ranking officials from European countries about recent work on Humans in Outer Space.

This second high-level conference was organised by the Belgian Minister of Scientific Research, Ms. Sabine Laruelle, under the Belgian Presidency of the EU.  The Conference looked at the various aspects of space exploration, recognising technologies as an enabler for space exploration.  While developing technologies is a field of competition it is accepted that other areas mandate a spirit of cooperation if not concertation, like i.e. the secure and reliable access to space with its request for a certain redundancy.  The ISS is widely seen as a living role model of and for international cooperation.  Following this line it was recommended that ISS utilisation ought to be accessible to all ESA and EU to optimise and broaden European scientific, technological and operational return.  For further exploratory activities a dedicated international high-level space exploration platform should be established to ensure the mandatory coordinated strategic guidance of such endeavours.

During the conference, ESPI Resident Fellow Gerhard Thiele was able to exchange views particularly on the human aspects of space exploration with a number of high-ranking participants, including Belgian Minister of Scientific Research, Sabine Laruelle; Paul Weissenberg, Director in DG Enterprise and Industry at the European Commission; Laurie Leshin, Deputy Associate Administrator in the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate of NASA; Olle Norberg, Director General of the Swedish National Space Board; and Jan Kolar, Director of the Czech Space Office. Thus he presented the recent Astronauts' Memorandum, he prepared at ESPI (related webnews here) and the main ideas from the book on Humans in Outer Space - Interdisciplinary Odyssees (related webnews here). With the dissemination of these results from ESPI projects, a trans-disciplinary input to the political deliberations was put forward, broadening the arguments for a European engagement in exploration.

The Director General of the Swedish National Space Board, Olle Norberg, meets with ESPI Resident Fellow Gerhard Thiele 

 Related webnews:
- 4 October 2010. Statement “Human Space Exploration - A Global Trans-Cultural Quest” online
- 28 October 2008. ESPI and ESF launch the book "Humans in Outer Space - Interdisciplinary Odysseys"








photo credits: ESPI, Belgian EU Presidency

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