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What is the best financial advice for young people? ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano provides words of wisdom to young people on how investing their time wisely today can help build a better tomorrow.

If you’re in your 20’s, you’re probably enjoying the greatest freedom you’ll ever know. You’re gainfully employed, yet you may not have a mortgage to cover, a spouse to please, or children to care for. In this video, Luca recalls his own childhood and says, the most valuable resource we have as young people is time. He encourages the next generation to continue having fun, but to do so while investing in their own education as they plant the seed for a successful future.

ESA advice to invest on EARTH

Perhaps you’ve graduated from college and moved on to the next stage of your adult life. Success, Luca says, is not measured by being an astronaut or by being rich, but by committing to projects that give you satisfaction and contribute to a better world. If you choose something you love, and you love what you do, you will never work one day in your life.

The most valuable resource we have as young people is time
ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano

As an ESA astronaut of Italian nationality, Luca has served two six-month space missions on the International Space Station. During his last mission, known as Beyond, in 2019/2020 he became the third European and first ever Italian in command of the Space Station.

Luca continues to work as an astronaut in Europe, inspiring the next generation of explorers, and supporting European efforts to enhance life on Earth and the future of space travel through human and robotic exploration.

ESA – European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

EU space policy aims to tackle some of the most pressing challenges today, such as fighting climate change, helping to stimulate technological innovation, and providing socio-economic benefits to citizens. Space technology, data and services have become indispensable in the lives of Europeans.

After celebrating the 50th anniversary of the European space cooperation in 2014, we now mark 45 years since the signing of the Convention for the creation of a single European Space Agency on 30 May 1975.

ESA – European astronauts

European astronauts have been taking part in human spaceflight missions for over three decades, and ESA is a fully-fledged partner in developing and operating the International Space Station (having provided the Columbus lab module and five ATV supply vehicles, among other elements, for example). Today, ESA is developing the European Service Module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft, and is ensuring that Europe plays a key role in the future international exploration of space, including missions to the Moon and beyond.

Over time, stakeholder interests and partnership expectations change. Geopolitical and space-related environments become increasingly interwoven. In the 1970s, ESRO and ELDO were transformed into ESA in response to different needs of the space arena of those days. ESA has carried forward this readiness and ability to respond to change by applying its ‘normative’ framework to new situations and in new ways.

A Space Strategy for Europe

The objectives of the Space Strategy for Europe are:

  1. Maximise the benefits of space for society and the EU economy, by promoting the use of Galileo services in mobile phones, cars and for timing and synchronisation of European critical infrastructure, as well as by improving access to space data for start-ups
  2. Ensure a globally competitive and innovative European space sector, by making it easier for companies and start-ups to access space data via dedicated industry-led platforms so that they can develop services and applications; by promoting more private investment for start-ups, in particular in the context of the Investment Plan for Europe and the Pan-European Venture Capital Fund-of-Funds
  3. Reinforce Europe’s autonomy in accessing space in a safe and secure environment, by supporting the development of cost-effective, reliable and competitive European launchers
  4. Strengthen Europe’s role as a global actor and promoting international cooperation.

Why do we need an EU space policy?

The EU needs its own ESA space programmes because they assist Europeans and help with the implementation of EU policies through:

  1. Meeting key societal challenges: EU space programmes provide public services to EU public authorities, companies and citizens. Space data is essential to answering societal challenges such as the sustainable consumption of natural resources, safety and security, and climate change.
  2. Jobs and industrial growth: The space sector provides over 230,000 jobs in the EU from manufacturing to space operations and downstream services. It is worth between €46-54 billion to the EU economy.
  3. Ensuring EU autonomy: Europe’s access to space underpins the implementation of many EU policies, the competitiveness of European industry and businesses, as well as its security, defence and strategic autonomy. Space reinforces the role of Europe as a stronger global actor.


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