July 13, 2012

Farnborough Conference Hints At Future Of Space Industry

Lee Rannals for - Your Universe Online

A conference held at the Farnborough International Airshow included international leaders from government, space agencies and the space industry.

The conference was hosted by David Williams, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, and featured an opening address from Francesco Profumo, the Italian Minister for Education.

Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, gave a speech at the conference, along with Enrico Saggese, President of ASI, the Italian space agency, and Vladimir Popovkin, Head of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.

The session was closed by David Willetts, UK Minister of State for Universities and Science, and Andy Green, Co-Chair of the UK Space Leadership Council. They stressed the continued growth of the space industry in the U.K. and the work being done to stimulate economic growth and promote technology and innovation.

The speakers spoke about the main themes of the Space Zone, some of which concentrate on new environments for investment and growth.

"At a time of economic challenges, space has proven to be an engine of economic development and growth, an anchor of stability and a counterbalance to negative trends," ESA said in a press release.

"Space-based services are a part of our daily lives now more than ever, and represent a growing element of the economic and societal value of space."

Jean-Jacques Dordain said that the space agency has never been as successful as it is today.

"The time is right to change in the direction of competitiveness and growth and ESA is moving in that direction,” he said at the event.

European ministers will be called up in November to make important decisions on future space programs at ESA's Ministerial Council, which is a crucial moment for European space, ESA said.