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About me



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  1. ESA can get a low cost, reusable version of the Ariane 6 just by adding a second Vulcain to the Ariane 5. Moveover, without needing the solid side boosters, this can be used to finally give Europe an independent manned spaceflight capability. Multi-Vulcain Ariane 6. https://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2018/02/multi-vulcain-ariane-6.html Bob Clark
  2. http://spacenews.com/esa-members-give-space-agency-an-18-percent-budget-boost/ ESA's budget has recently been increased 18.4% to $5.71 Billion- an increase fuelled by increased investment by the European Commission, along with several European governments- especially Italy. One major area where this funding increase is concentrated in is the Galileo navigation satellite program, along with the Copernicous Earth Observation program- both of whom are owned by the European Commission (But operated by ESA). Thus, the increase in funding the Commission is giving to ESA is largely going to these two programs- which are in the manufacturing and deployment stages, and require the most money at this point. A 72% increase has also been given to ESA for "launchers"- most of which is going to fund the Vega-C and Ariane 6 projects. Italy and France, with majority stakes in the Vega-C and Ariane 6, respectively, have thus increased their funding of ESA by 55% and 18% repectively. However, with the concentration on Earth observation, navigation, and rocket development, some programs have still remained underfunded. One high-profile program is the ExoMars mission, a two part joint program with Rocosmos (the Russian Space Agency) with launches in 2016 and 2018. Woerner, the Director-General of ESA, has stated the 2018 may have to be delayed to 2020 to make up for the underfunding- though this will increase overall mission cost. This portion, which is at risk of delays, includes a lander and a rover being sent to Mars. This possible delay of ExoMars, if undertaken, would be due to ESA underfunding, not Rocosmos- Rocosmos has stated they do not have any delays on their side of the mission. ESA's ISS contributions are also at risk- Weorner has stated that he will do his utmost to convince his member governments to fund ESA's use of the ISS to 2024, from 2020. ESA members are sceduled to meet in December 2016 to determine their future role in the ISS. TL;DR: ESA has been given more money, but it's mostly to new rockets and Earth Observation and GPS-esque satellites. ExoMars may be delayed due to lack of funding, and ISS's ESA use to 2024 is being reviewed.
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