The European Union has ambitious plans to explore the universe. Prague-based Galileo Management Center and the European Global Navigation Satellite System, European rival to the United States GPS, is expected to achieve full operational capacity in 2019. The Czech Republic itself is contributing around €3.22 million to the European Space Agency (ESA), which covers micro navigation experiments, but this is still not enough to train astronauts.
Last spring saw the 40th anniversary of Czechoslovakian astronaut Vladimir Remek’s flight into space. The ESA and the Global Navigation Satellite System are, however, not the only space projects in the EU’s pipeline. The Gallileo program that stands at the core of the EU’s space activities will use up to three dozen satellites orbiting the Earth. Along with the European Global Navigation System (EGNOS) and the Copernicus Environmental and Security Monitoring Program, it is also its most high-profile feature of the European Union’s space ambitions.
Moreover, the EU plans to further develop its research capabilities with the ultimate aim to spearhead space exploration that would at the same time also benefit terrestrial activities. A good example of how ESA research facilitates the creation of innovative consumer goods is the Triphood mobile app for family trips and special bicycle frames from Festka. With this in mind, the European Parliament fully supports all initiatives within space research and investigation that have a positive impact on the end consumer and benefit the good.
“The space program must also include the ability to confront cyber threats and create a competitive environment, including the promotion of space diplomacy,” Jaromir Kohlicek, Czech Deputy Chairman of the EP Committee of Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) commented and stressed that “the universe is a common heritage of humankind, and cooperation, reciprocity and fair competition conditions must be applied on the international level. … There are also opportunities to create skilled jobs here.”