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LIQUIFER Systems Group Gmbh

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Position Paper Human Spaceflight and Space Exploration in Horizon2020

Habitats, humans, habitation systems, human-robot cooperation

Main points

  1. Maximizing industrial and scientific returns by use of the International Space Station infrastructure,
  2. Habitats and habitation systems,
  3. Environmental Control and Life-Support Systems (ECLSS),
  4. Human-Robot cooperation,
  5. Test, validation and demonstration of technologies for commercial space and space exploration,

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H2020 and its space programme are intended to ensure “Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies”. It aims to achieve this by building on past research, allowing the citizens of Europe, industry, and researchers (primarily in the short and medium term), to reap the benefits. The overwhelming focus of the current work programme (2016 to 2017) is Earth Observation, Navigation, and some selected specific technologies. The very significant benefits to Europe’s citizens, industry and the establishment of international partnerships that can be brought by human spaceflight and exploration activities seem not to be addressed by this programme anymore.

Europe is a world leader in human spaceflight and exploration technology and has an objective to be a valued partner in the global exploration effort. The capabilities that have been established in Europe, with funding from the ESA, the EC, and national agencies, as well as the associated international collaborations, form the foundation upon which to achieve commercial and research success with international partners. A new market is emerging: for low-Earth-orbit (LEO) human spaceflight, including on-orbit research, development and its commercialisation as well as transportation. The future commercial space exploration market will be based on those successful in this LEO market place. It is not often that a new market emerges for which Europe already has significant capabilities, that has a vast potential for growth and will provide industrial, research and international partnership benefits.

How could we reach this

  1. By including the above proposed subjects as a priority in the calls, focusing on continuity of past and on-going activities
  2. Provide complementary opportunities for curiosity driven research (low TRL)
  3. In parallel, set up a Human Spaceflight Strategic Research Cluster (higher TRL)

Advantages for us and Europe

  • to have a solid position in the emerging commercial low Earth orbit and exploration market, with its vast economic and scientific rewards
  • Human Spaceflight will provide direct benefits for Europe’s citizens from increasing our understanding and capabilities in human health, ageing and medicine, in environment, water, air quality, pollution management and in establishing workable human-robot collaboration experience, all of which are key issues for improving life and well-being on Earth.
  • inspire a younger generation
  • to maintain an already established effort, creating sustainability and advantages in the growing competition

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Authors and initiators
Barbara Imhof, LIQUIFER Systems Group, Peter Weiss, COMEX; Richard Aked, Space Applications Services

List of signatories
1.    AIRBUS DS, Germany
2.    CSEM, Switzerland
3.    OHB Systems, Germany
4.    Thales Alenia Space, Italy
5.    AeroSekur, Italy
6.    Association ARTSEM, France
7.    DRL, Astrobiology, Germany
8.    University of Rome, Department of Electric Engineering, Italy
9.    DLR, Bremen, Germany
10.    DRL, Cologne, Germany
11.    Space-Exploration-Advice, Germany
12.    AUA Laboratory of Microbiology, Greece,
13.    Kull, Estonia,
14.    University NTNU Social Research, Norway
15.    Medical University Graz, Austria
16.    University of Guelph, Ireland
17.    Austrian Space Forum, Austria
18.    Astronautical Engineering, FH Aachen, Germany
19.    Fotec, Austria
20.    TU Munich, Institute for Aerospace Engineering, Germany
21.    University of Stuttgart, Institute of Space Systems, Germany
22.    Birbeck College, Planetary Sciences, London
23.    DESC, VU-University Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands

– Publication in ELGRA Newsletter March 2017