EU Research Blog

The United States may have slashed NASA’s budget for manned spaceflight but space exploration is still important to our daily lives – in telecommunication and television, weather forecasting and even global finance.

At the 1st EU-ESA International Conference (October 2009) Commissioner Verheugen defined European space exploration as a booster for innovation and as a catalyst for further European integration, since international cooperation (both within the EU and ESA and with other countries) is a central element of modern space exploration. Verheugen also added that space exploration is also a symbol of global power and prestige and the Europe should not be sidelined.
Discussing the way forward in European and US space collaboration Joseph R. Wood, senior resident fellow with the German Marshall fund, recommends that “most of NASA’s human exploration budget, and as much as Europe can contribute, should be pulled from government-run programs and put into a fund for major space exploration prizes. Money would be available within a few years for the United States and Europe to offer jointly prizes of, for example, 20 billion euros/$30 billion for a successful manned lunar mission and 50 billion euros/$75 billion for a successful Mars mission.

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