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European Space Agency adopts budget of nearly 17 billion euros

Budget to fund space exploration, climate change monitoring among others

By AFP - Nov 23,2022 - Last updated at Nov 23,2022

ESA President Josef Aschbacher speaks during a ceremony to unveil the European Space Agency five new class of career astronauts in Paris on Wednesday (AFP photo)

PARIS — The European Space Agency said Wednesday it has adopted a budget of nearly 17 billion euros for the three next years, a significant increase but less than requested by its director general.

The ESA's 22 member states, whose ministers have been meeting for two days in Paris, decided on a new budget of 16.9 billion euros ($17 billion) to fund space exploration, rocket launchers, climate change monitoring and other projects.

That marks a 17 per cent increase from the 14.5 billion euros agreed at the last ministerial council meeting in 2019, but is short of the 18.5 billion euros requested by ESA director general Josef Aschbacher.

"With inflation being so high, I have to say that I'm very impressed by this figure," Aschbacher told the meeting. 

He added that the increased funds were necessary for Europe not to "miss the train" in the face of competition from the United States and China.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire hailed a "great success" that was "beyond expectations".

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