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Flagship European space programme emerges

A satellite communications programme combining civil and military functions is set to become Europe’s next major space project, after Copernicus and Galileo.

Govsatcom will combine commercial communications with more secure military communications. At an event in Brussels on 11 January, François Rivasseau, special envoy at the EU’s European External Action Service, said that Govsatcom will be a European flagship programme as it supports three EU strategies due to be published in 2016: a space strategy, a defence action plan and a global strategy on foreign and security policy.

The design and governance of the programme have yet to be determined, but it will probably remain under national control because of the sensitivity of military communications. Bodies including the European Commission, the European Defence Agency, the EEAS and the European Space Agency, as well as industry, will share the costs of the programme.

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