Executive Intelligence Review


Jan Woerner: European Space Agency ‘Bridges Earthly Crises’ Through Cooperation

March 5, 2018 (EIRNS)—In an interview published in the March issue of Aerospace America, European Space Agency (ESA) Director General Jan Woerner describes ESA’s role in the international space community as a kind of mediator or buffer, among the world’s other space powers.

“The most important reason for us to do cooperation is to bridge Earthly crises,” he says.

“We are working with Russia intensively together for launch. In a tiny Soyuz capsule, you have American astronaut, Russian cosmonaut, and European astronaut together. Then you have some warm feelings so that it’s still possible, even in times of sanctions and so on, to do something together ... and therefore we are also cooperating with China. Some of our astronauts are now learning Chinese in order to be prepared if we can have in the future together, some human missions.”

On Woerner’s proposal for a “Moon Village,” he explains that it is meant as an “umbrella” for an “open concept,” where ESA could, for example provide transportation, logistics, and navigation on the surface, and other countries, commercial entities, universities could contribute other components.

Woerner proposes that on the far side,

“the Moon can be also a very nice place for planetary defense of the Earth, as an outpost to observe the universe, as an early warning station for asteroids, meteorites coming toward the Earth and, in the far future, also to use the Moon as a base for some countermeasures.”

As far as deep space exploration is concerned, Woerner imagines “using the curvature of space and time to get faster through the universe, it would be really nice.”