Whether controlling a spacecraft orbiting Earth at 8 km/second, or operating the largest satellite test centre in Europe, Basic Activities comprise a portfolio of ESA undertakings that enable all this but that remain invisible most of the time because they simply work – and work well.
These range from developing laboratories, ground stations and mission control facilities to Europe-wide early-stage technology development efforts, actions to support innovation and standardisation and IT infrastructure.
They also include means of developing, preserving and disseminating knowledge for European capacity building and sustainable growth.
Investing in Basic Activities means creating the ability for Europe to develop and fly the next generation of sophisticated missions that will enable scientists to discover new knowledge about the farthest reaches of the universe or the environment right here on our home planet.
It means fostering innovation and boosting the competitiveness of European industry in the global market, and it means ensuring the Agency’s common infrastructure and expertise continue to enable the most complex and demanding tests and analysis to be available to all companies, large and small, profiting from world-class laboratories and competences.
Early-stage research and development enabled through Basic Activities stimulates industry to develop brighter ideas, to conceive smarter missions in space and improve life on Earth. World-leading commercial initiatives rely on European products developed with the technology fostered by ESA.
A rising tide lifts all boats; a significant boost to ESA’s Basic Activities is the most effective means of benefiting all Agency missions and programmes, bringing the future nearer to fruition.