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Danish astronaut warns Europe at risk of falling behind

STORY: Mogensen, who will be the first non-American pilot to steer the SpaceX Crew Dragon shuttle to the International Space Station (ISS), hopes to one day fly into space on an independent European mission.

"It would be a big honor to fly on a European spacecraft," he said.

The European Space Agency is currently only capable of carrying out manned European missions in space through international cooperations.

Western Europe meanwhile faces a gap in access to space for satellite launches after the Ukraine conflict severed access to the Russian Soyuz launcher, Italy’s Vega-C encountered a launch failure and Europe’s upcoming Ariane 6 was hit by delays. Europe’s last Ariane 5 launch takes place next month.