When I ran for the European Parliament in 2014, one of my 13 campaign issues was that the European space policy needs to be filled with new life and that a space elevator would be the perfect project to unite Europeans behind a common cause:

Reaching for the Stars Together
If we work and dream together, the most remote goals can become a reality. Best example: Space travel. In contrast to all other space agencies, the ESA is already a successful multi-state project. It is testimony to the European spirit and it needs new challenges to bring new life to this idea. That’s why we have set the goal of starting the world’s first space elevator to create safe infrastructure for new space missions.

A space elevator would be the perfect project to unite Europeans behind a common causeTweet this!

Today I am proud to announce that the first step towards this lofty goal has been made. I have succeeded in convincing my colleagues that merely relying on rockets is not going to bring us the progress we need. Alternative launching technologies, like the space elevator, can bring huge increases in efficiency in accessing space. Rocket technology may have appeared more attractive to investment because of its dual use in a military context, but they’re not the best means for accessing and using space in an efficient, safe and environmentally-friendly manner.

Today, the European Parliament adopted its report A Space Strategy for Europe (rapporteur Konstanze Krehl, S&D, Germany) with a huge majority (609 to 66, 16 abstentions). In the report, under the section Reinforcing Europe’s autonomy in accessing and using space in a secure and safe environment, paragraph 38 reads:

The European Parliament calls on the Commission to encourage the development of alternative launching technologies and the inclusion of eco-design principles in all launchers and space assets.

In other words: Today’s launchers are not environmentally friendly enough and the Commission needs to work on improving this, particularly by building alternatives to rockets. Such as the Space Elevator!

Of course, this dream is still far from becoming a reality: Commission and Member State governments must pick up this initiative by the European Parliament and make space research a priority. If this happens, nothing is impossible: The Space Elevator could become Europe’s flagship initiative for our common, borderless space policy.

To the extent possible under law, the creator has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.


  1. 1
    Nelson Semino

    I am with you. For your causes of unifying EU Patents Policies and an EU Space Elevator.

    FYI I have been working on a variant Space Elevator for over 8 years.

    See an old MIT article about my Space Elevator at the following hyperlink.


  2. 2

    Why not an orbital ring instead? Unlike a space elevator, we have the technology to build one of those today, are just about the same length, can be added to over time, and are so much more awesome.


  3. 3
    Larry Beckham

    Please understand. There are no technology, no material can withstand the stress for a Space Elevator from the Earth to 40,000 km up.

  4. 4

    Will you be attending the Space Elevator symposium in London on 7th November ? See http://www.bis-space.com/2017/04/26/18868/symposium-on-space-elevators for more details.