News & AnalysisEuropean Space Agency

Tough Financial Times Bring ESA Down to Earth

Science  30 Nov 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6111, pp. 1135-1136
DOI: 10.1126/science.338.6111.1135

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Summary

At an intense and often acrimonious ministerial council meeting, managers of the European Space Agency sought funding for their programs in many areas of space activity, while representatives of the 20 cash-strapped member governments tried to accommodate them, but with less money than ESA wanted. The agency asked governments for roughly €12 billion over the 5 years from 2013 to 2017. By the end of the 2-day meeting, it came away with €10.1 billion ($13.0 billion). As a result, Europe will be going to Mars, but not to the moon; it will collaborate with the United States to develop NASA's Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, but it will have to wait for a decision on a next-generation Ariane 6 launcher.