P olicy  Paper - Europe’s  new ‘Moonshot’  space
Coherent Identifier 20.500.12592/n4mzbc

P olicy Paper - Europe’s new ‘Moonshot’ space

6 June 2023


3 1 .0 Introduction In March 2023 the European Space A gency (ESA) 1 published Revolution S pace , 2 a paper by a ‘ High Level Advisory Group’ (HLAG) chaired b y Anders Fogh Rasmussen that proposed a ‘revolutionary’ plan to s ecure E uropean s trategic a utonomy i n human s paceflight: the ability to send people and cargo t o destinations i n Earth orbit, the Moon and eventually beyond. [...] A strict adherence to ‘autonomy’ – bordering on a utarchy – is also unnecessary across the full breadth of t he programme in the s ame way; there should be room for exceptions and calculated risk-taking in some a reas of capability, f or example w hen it c omes to a LEO s tation or orbital refuelling. [...] T his could be a new non- or inter-governmental organisation ( for e xample, a ‘European Cis-Lunar Organisation’, or ECLO) like the original Intelsat a nd Inmarsat, or ISS, to manage the a ssets a nd share the benefits. [...] There are a number of potential political traps here, perhaps the most evident being that ESA may be allowed to get beyond a point of no (political) return with the Moonshot plan in the expectation of a strong m andate, only to be forced later in the political process to take on all the responsibility but without the authorities and freedom it needs. [...] G abriel is a lso an A ssociate of King’s College, London, a n elected F ellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and a founding partner a t AstroAnalytica, a space consultancy.

Published in
United Kingdom