On 22-23 November 2022, the ministers responsible for space from the 22 ESA member states met. The Council defined the new programmes and mandatory activities of the organisation for the years 2023-2025. The decisions adopted pursue the overall goal of an inclusive Europe in space for the benefit of all ESA Member States, supported by a strengthened and autonomous ESA. The Earth observation, space exploration, navigation, space transportation and telecommunications programmes are the foundation of ESA’s expertise. They contribute to the sectoral policies of States and are crucial for access to data and services. Based on the contributions to programmes pledged at the ministerial meetings, Switzerland receives contracts for scientific projects and for industry.
At the 2022 meeting, Switzerland committed to programmes ranging from Earth observation and new telecommunications technologies to exploration and launchers. For example, the development of the joint centre in Switzerland, the European Space Deep-Tech Innovation Centre (ESDI), and the Swiss-led development of the HummingSat platform for small geostationary telecommunications satellites based on 3D printing technologies have been concretised. In addition, Switzerland’s continued commitment to space transportation, particularly Ariane 6, and to space security through ADRIOS and the Clearspace 1 mission, will enable the further development of Swiss expertise. ESA will also be able to continue its role in all aspects of sustainable space activities, particularly with regard to space debris.
The decisions taken by the Council of Ministers will enable increased cooperation between Swiss research and industry and with various international partners through the ESA programmes. In particular, the Member States decided to continue the adapted ExoMars mission and the robotic activities on the Moon, notably European Large Logistics Lander (EL3), while continuing the ESA projects ISS, Lunar Gateway and Artemis, carried out in partnership with NASA, in which Switzerland is also involved. During the meeting, Switzerland also agreed with France and the United Kingdom on specific thematic and technological cooperation, such as the THEMIS (reusable space transportation) and TRUTHS (calibration of Earth observation data) projects.
Read the entire press release from the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI