UCL Earth Sciences


Prof Chris Rapley reports from 2023 Seville Space summit

25 January 2024

The “Uplifting ESA Science Funding” report makes the arguments for enhanced science funding in greater detail.

ESA funding report

Prof Chris Rapley reports:

I have been participating in 16th European Space Conference in Brussels - strapline: “Meet the Leaders - Shape Europe’s Future”. Very inspiring experience. 

2023 Seville Space summit seen as turning point heralding new era in which space threads society and recognising need for transformation of European space ecosystem for increased autonomy, agility, commercial success, sustainability. 

No shortage of leaders present - political, space (obvs ESA in force), industrial, banking / investment, think tanks. But notably the voice of science was muted. No active science leader on any of the main panels. 

Yet for 50y science - and the technology it has catalysed (and vice versa) - has underpinned the creation and evolution of the European space assets and capabilities upon which the new future will be built! 

But science excellence can be fragile - it needs to be nurtured, not taken for granted.

Hence the commitment of the ESF European Space Sciences Committee to work hard over the next two years - with ESA and the Delgations - to seek to ensure a necessary uplift in science funding of the mandatory programme, and within the optional Earth Observation and Exploration programmes at CM25.

Europe is at the forefront of space science. It’s an inspiration to young people and the public and of justifiable European pride.Let’s keep pushing the boundaries of knowledge. It has paid off before and will do again!

Read the ESSC report submitted at Seville which makes the case …