Looking back and forward with our Annual Overview Space Activities 2021

Space is of great value in solving the social issues we face worldwide. And the Netherlands can make a significant contribution to these solutions, provided it invests intelligently in space. This is evident from the NSO's Annual Overview Space Activities published this week.

Many space projects are a matter of long breath. Years of investment, innovation, construction and testing are ultimately rewarded with the successful launch of a mission. In 2021, this applied to the Dutch robotic arm ERA, which was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) last summer. And for the James Webb space telescope, with the partly Dutch infrared instrument MIRI on board.

Less visible for the general public, but certainly also important, was the completion of the SPEXone satellite instrument for the American PACE mission. And the scientific work done with Tropomi, a Dutch instrument that since 2017 has been monitoring air quality worldwide, detecting large methane leaks and has many other applications.

The Dutch G4AW programme, which has been using satellite data for development aid since 2013, received international praise and awards in 2021. This shows that satellites can be of great value in agriculture, water management and many other areas.

After a successful 2021, the NSO will continue to promote the application of satellite data and technological innovation in space. Furthermore, 2022 will be marked by an advice to the House of Representatives about the space policy for the coming years. By making smart investments, the Netherlands with its relatively modest space sector can play a significant role in technological innovation, astronomy, security and care for planet earth.

Read the complete 2021 Annual Space Activities.