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“Space is one of Europe’s strong points, and we’re giving ourselves the means to speed up,” European Commissioner Thierry Breton.

Over the past decades, Europe has sought to build independent access to space from US and Russian pioneers to help its industry, with successes such as Ariane rockets or GPS-rival satnav Galileo.

But the recent emergence of US competitor SpaceX and its reusable rockets as well as China’s rapid advances, including the first-ever landing on the far side of the Moon last year, is giving new urgency to Europe’s ambitions.

Source: EU to speed up space ambitions, Breton says

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