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European Ministers Back Commerce Over Space Science

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Science  21 May 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5418, pp. 1242-1243
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5418.1242

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BRUSSELS-- The European Space Agency veered sharply toward support for the commercial exploitation of space at a meeting of ministers from its 14 member states here last week. During the frequently tense meeting, ministers negotiated which elements to back from a $6.4 billion menu of programs proposed by the agency, enthusiastically pledging funding for programs in satellite navigation, Earth observation, and communications. But the politicians voted to maintain a 4-year-old cap on science spending and only reluctantly backed spending plans for the utilization of the space station.