European Space Agency Secure €16.9 Billion Budget

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Josef Aschbacher, the European Space Agency’s Director General, announced a new €16.9 billion budget for the ESA’s activities over the next three years. This is a 17% increase from 2019.

The announcement was made on the second day of the ESA’S Ministerial Council in Paris, alongside French Minister Bruno Le Maire.

Aschbacher’s initial request was for €18 billion, to remedy the Agency’s problems detaching from Russia’s dependency and developing a sovereign launching system. The conference also highlighted the ESA and EU’s commitment to using satellite navigation to bridge the gap between agencies and the private sector.

Contributing members included Germany (€3.5 billion), France (€3.2 billion) and Italy (€3 billion).

In a surprising turn of events, all countries except Italy, France, Poland, the Netherlands, Austria and Sweden lowered their contribution. Italy’s was raised the most, from 15.7% in 2019 to 18.2% this year. New members including Slovakia (€12 million), Latvia (€3 million) and Lithuania (€5 million) bridged the remaining gap in the budget.

One of the biggest boosts in activities was noted in human and robotic exploration (+37% compared to CM19). This confirms the ESA’s mission to continue increasing its presence on the Moon and contributing to the ISS. The Scientific Programme, the ESA’s mandatory solar system project, increased 13% alongside this, with navigation up by almost 5 times. On the flip side, technology dropped by 6.8%.

Looking back over recent progress and onto future projects, we’re excited to see how the ESA will spread this budget to enable exciting new ventures.