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Europe to speed up space race in 2022

XINHUA 徽标 XINHUA 2022/1/26 ,
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A plane flies during the 52nd International Paris Air and Space Show held in Le Bourget near Paris, France, on June 19, 2017. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)

The European Investment Bank launched its Cassini Space Fund to ensure funding of SMEs and start-ups in the space industry, with 1 billion euros made available.

BRUSSELS, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Europe should speed up action to make sure it will remain in the space race, said Marian-Jean Marinescu, a member of the European Parliament and Chair of the Sky and Space Intergroup, at the 14th European Space Conference on Wednesday.

"We all agree that EU should speed up its action if we want to be able to face the strong competition. We all agree that we should invest more and spend more efficiently," Marinescu said in his concluding remarks.

Other areas in which consensus emerged include more financial support for start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the increasing importance of space for the military, and shorter innovation cycles, according to Marinescu.

On Wednesday, the European Investment Bank launched its Cassini Space Fund to ensure funding of SMEs and start-ups in the space industry, with 1 billion euros (1.13 billion U.S. dollars) made available.

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People visit the 52nd International Paris Air and Space Show at Le Bourget airport near Paris, France, on June 19, 2017. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)

Marinescu urged other European institutions and European member states to gear into action in 2022, arguing that a lack of political will is making Europe fall behind.

On Wednesday, European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton announced that a new legislative proposal for a secure connectivity constellation would get ready in the next few weeks. Marinescu said that the European Parliament would cooperate to make sure negotiations would go as fast as possible.

Breton also announced a European Strategy for Space Traffic Management. This comes late, according to Marinescu, but better late than never.

The 14th European Space Conference took place in Brussels, Belgium, in a hybrid format due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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British European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Major Tim Peake gives a talk during the first New Scientist Live event on his experiences of ESA expeditions lasting over six months in space in London, Britain, on Sept. 22, 2016. (Xinhua/Ray Tang)

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