Top officials and experts from Western Europe and Australia met in Brussels today (Wednesday) for a conference which could lead to major changes in Europe's space effort.
GV Conference building
GV INT. Delegates in hall.
SCU M. Lefevre. (Belgium)
SV and CU President of conference (Herr Leusink Germany)
CU UK Delegates.
CU Canadian delegates
CU Australian delegates
Tracking shot delegates seated.
GV Conference in progress.
Initials GHB/MR/CO GHB/MR
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Background: Top officials and experts from Western Europe and Australia met in Brussels today (Wednesday) for a conference which could lead to major changes in Europe's space effort.
Delegates at the three-day conference were scheduled to consider America's invitation to Europe to join in the development of a "space-shuttle" which would ferry men and equipment to space stations and then return to earth to land like a jet aircraft.
The conference was arranged by the European Launcher Development Organisation (ELDO) which produces European rockets, and the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO), which concentrates mostly on satellites. According to conference observers, the United States recognises that Europe has enough technological background to make a significant contribution to the "space shuttle" concept.
Thirteen European countries were represented along with Australia, which provides the Woomera rocket range for ELDO. Seven other countries sent observers.
Another main topic to be decided was whether ELDO and ESRO should be merged to give Europe a central space authority.
Britain was expected to be urged to reverse the Labour Government's decision to drop out of ELDO when her commitments to it end next year.
If the conference decided to join America's "post-Apollo" programme, observers estimate that Europe would need to be responsible for around 10 to 15 per cent of the project and that the cost to Europe over a period of years would be more than one thousand million pounds sterling.