Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • Israeli special forces attack Hamas base inside Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Holland beat hosts Brazil 3-0 to finish third in World Cup

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Germany vs Argentina - history and genius clash in World Cup final

    Read more

  • Legal challenge to French mayor’s ban of Muslim hijab on beach

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

Europe launches space programmes on new high

©

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-26

Europe decided to commit 10 billion euros to its space programmes, increasing the previous budget by 20 %. Two key projects to benefit will be the International Space Station and the Mars exploration programme, ExoMars.

Ministers from 19 countries on Wednesday agreed to commit nearly 10 billion euros (12.8 billion dollars) to Europe's space programme, it was announced here.
  
The decision by the 18 members of the European Space Agency (ESA), along with Canada, included a compromise on spending for the International Space Station (ISS), which will become ESA's biggest budgetary item, sources said.
  
ESA Director General Jacques Dordain said ministers approved spending of 9.65 billion euros to maintain current programmes and launch future projects, added to which were 300 million euros in outstanding commitments.
  
"The council has been a complete success for ESA and for Europe," he said.
  
ESA's budget is allocated for present and planned schemes that can span a number of years, and thus does not run in specific cycles of, say, three or five years. The previous budget was approved in 2005.
  
In a press release, ESA said the meeting marked "a further step towards giving Europe the means to respond to global challenges."
  
"(...) The measures will further strengthen Europe’s role in the development and exploitation of space applications serving public policy objectives and the needs of European citizens and enterprises."
  
ESA had put forward proposals of 10.4 billion euros, but Dordain had said he would be happy with 9.3 billion.
  
The two-day meeting, begun on Tuesday, had been overshadowed by a debate over the ISS.
  
Building the manned orbital outpost has been hit by delays and cost overruns, all of them crimping Europe's ability to use it for the goal of scientific research.
  
Worried that a funding shortfall could further impinge on use of the ISS, Germany succeeded in securing a boost in spending to 1.37 billion euros to 2012.
  
But even with the additional contribution, the funds may not be enough to build all of the four contracted robot freighters, the Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATVs), designed to service the station.
  
Germany will be able to lobby for further funds at the next ministerial meeting in 2011 if funds are insufficient, said sources.
  
Another compromise emerged over the funding of a Martian rover called ExoMars, which was initially planned for launch in 2011, but was postponed until November 2013 and again, to early 2016.
  
Its cost has ballooned from 650 million euros -- the estimate in 2005 -- to 1.2 billion euros.
  
European countries will stump up 850 million euros, said Dordain, adding that he had promised a ceiling of one billion for the project. Talks are underway with the United States and Russia for finding the rest of money.
  
The meeting also gave the green light to the second phase of an Earth-monitoring system called Kopernikus, and 340 million euros for the first phase of work to develop a second-stage cryogenic motor to boost the lifting power of the Ariane-5 rocket.
  
France and Germany are ESA's two biggest contributors, accounting together for more than half of its budget.
  
Under the new spending programme, Germany will contribute 2.7 billion euros, and France just over 2.3 billion.

Date created : 2008-11-26

Comments

COMMENT(S)