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Position Paper Human Spaceflight and Space Exploration in Horizon2020

Habitats, humans, habitation systems, human-robot cooperation


Peter WEISS, Head of Space Division, COMEX, France; Barbara IMHOF, CEO LIQUIFER SYSTEMS GROUP, Austria; Richard AKED, CEO SPACE APPLICATIONS SERVICES, Belgium

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,

By 23.8.2017 there are 53 signatories who support the Positioning Paper

Download full text incl. signatories here >

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

Download full text incl. signatories here >

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, EDEN Group, Bremen, Germany
10. Radiation, Biology Department, German Aerospace Center DLR, 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
24. CNRS, Institut des Sciences Etienne du Movement Jules Marey, Aix, Marseilles, Université
25. Politecnico di Torino, Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace, Italy
26. Aarhus University, Biomedicine & Space Medicine, Denmark
27. Space Biotechnology (U Magdeburg), Institute of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zurich, Switzerland
28. Space Sciences, ZARM, University of Bremen, Germany
29. KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Space Center
30. Department of Physiology, Charité, University of Berlin, Germany
31. Institute of Life Sciences, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa Italy
32. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece,
34. Dublin City University,Ireland, National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology
35. Swedish Aerospace Physiology Centre, KTH, Stockhom, Sweden
36. MEDES-IMPS, France
37. TU-Delft, Netherlands
38. 3B’s Research Group, University of Minho, Portugal
40. Kayser Italia SRL
41. Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany
43. Politecnico di Milano, Itlay
44. University of Lyon, Saint-Etienne, France
45. Space Sciences, ZARM Bremen, Germany
46. University of Zurich, Switzerland
48. Polytechnic University of Torino, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
49. IPStar, Netherlands
50. University of Naples Federico II, Italy
51. DTM s.r.l., Italy
53. Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CSIC), Spain
54. UPMC-Sorbonne Universités, Muséum National D’histoire Naturelle
55. Conception et Opérations des Systèmes Spatiaux ISAE-Supaero