In 2010, Germany’s Space Strategy proudly stated: “The level of funding [by the German Federal Government] has made it possible to consolidate Germany’s role as a key location for space activities as well as its number 2 position in the European space sector (after France and ahead of Italy)”. While seemingly comfortable with the second place in Europe’s space landscape, the strategy document also postulates that the ranking “should not only be a reason for contentment, but also an incentive” to further develop Germany’s space capabilities in a broad range of areas. More than ten years later, however, the discrepancy between self-set goals and political realities continues to be quite obvious. This is due to the lack of awareness of the relevance of space-based assets and services. For a long time, space was neglected both in German politics and public debate, and while it is gradually changing, knowledge about the opportunities and risks of space is still limited among political decision-makers. It is not politics, but industry that is the main driving force behind adapting Germany’s space landscape in an international environment that is increasingly characterised by geopolitical rivalries. This long-standing omission is particularly underscored by the fact that the aforementioned Space Strategy from 2010 has yet to be replaced by a new version.
Germany is gradually catching up with the relevance of space for the military, industry, and society. While the government still seems to lack political will, the German space industry pushes for a more ambitious and assertive national space policy…
- Uploaded on Cairn-int.info on 17/11/2022