In the so-called Space Race, the USA and the Soviet Union rivalled for supremacy in space during the Cold War. Since the end of the 1950s, the two superpowers have been constantly trying to outdo each other. The Soviet Union launched the first satellite into orbit in 1957. In 1961 and 1963 the first man and the first woman. The USA responded with the moon landing in 1969. Today, we are on the threshold of a Space Race 2.0. This time, it is private sector actors who are making the race. We have to create the appropriate legal framework for this. And be prepared with a European space strategy.
On the way to Space Race 2.0
Space travel is currently undergoing a massive upheaval. Even beyond the dazzling projects of American billionaires, space is being used more and more economically. At the same time, we are witnessing the beginning of a new militarization of space: China, Russia, France and the USA have already established their own partial armed forces for space.
International space law is not keeping pace with these developments. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty urgently needs to be reformed.
In addition, the course must be set for a new European space strategy.
I am committed to a peaceful space policy and a new set of international rules that puts international cooperation at the forefront. Military actions in space must be consistently prohibited. Clear rules and legal certainty are needed for new private sector use.
Space belongs to us all. Research data must remain freely available. And the wealth collected there must be fairly distributed on Earth.